Breaking news – Chateau de Bois Giraud will soon be on television. As to exactly when the programme will be aired, that information is, for the moment, strictly classified  – i.e. I do not actually know – , so more about that anon. All that I will say here is that the actual process of filming is remarkably intricate and that I have a new admiration for anyone who works in the industry.

Equally pertinently, there are signs that spring is indeed on the way, as displayed by the local flora, in the evenings that are not quite as dark – and in the prospect of some very charming events in the month of March. On Saturday the 25th, you might want to spend the day in Tours, which lies about 190km to the east of the Chateau as the town will be playing host to some fifty winemakers from the Bourgueil region.

The Loire Valley is the home to more than 4,000 wine-makers and the Bourgueil  appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) was established in 1937. The region is famous for its reds and rosés wines and to quote Jane MacQuitty in The Sunday Times of last year ‘for too long drinkers have overlooked the Loire’s refreshing, violet-scented and red currant-licked cabernet franc reds’. A visit to the many stalls arranged along Boulevard Heurteloup is therefore a must for anyone with an interest in viticulture –

Of course there is the more immediate prospect of la fête de Saint-Valentin on the 14th of February. How you celebrate this day is a deeply subjective matter (personally I think that little can surpass the closing moments of Claude Lelouch’s Un homme et une femme) and the fact that it is less commercially promoted in France than in the UK may come as a relief to many. There will be elaborate displays in the windows of local patisseries and florists but card sending is comparatively rare and Valentines is often seen to be best celebrated with a meal in a fine restaurant. Cue the famous theme music of Francis Lai…