White stone, black wine: life among the ancient vineyards of the Quercy Blanc

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Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2008 - Quercy (France) - 208 pages
The Quercy Blanc - named for its white stone - is a wild and sparsely populated area of rural France, squeezed between the great wine trading port of Bordeaux and the fizzing city of the south, Toulouse. It's home to the goose and the grape, sumptuous foiegras, the mysterious black truffle and world famous Agen prunes. There are miles of walnut groves and, most important of all, acres of vines. The author introduces us to some colourful local characters, freezes from the kneecaps down whilst braving the famous winter truffle market in Lalbenque, throws herself with Gallic gusto into numerous fetes and uncovers traces of the luminaries who once called this place home. From Champollion, who translated the Rosetta stone, to the illustrious Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Henry Plantagenet brought the area to the English crown.
 

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Contents

THE EVOCATIVE SOUND OF WARM SOUTHERN EUROPE
3
THE ART OF BUREAUCRACY
13
PASS THE ORANGE BOX
26
LE QUERCY
35
A HAMFISTED ATTEMPT AT NÖEL
44
CITIES OF ROSE BRICK GREY STONE AND SACRED ROCK
58
CARRIER BAG PIGEONS AND WILY GUINEA FOWL
68
VILLAGES ENDING IN AC
77
LADY ELEANOR
118
LA GRANDE PENDAISON DE CRÉMAILLÈRE
129
A STROLL THROUGH ORCHIDS
138
STONE WALLING
149
SCARLET CHERRIES AND GREEN WALNUTS
159
THE SEASON OF THE FÊTES
172
A CARPET OF SQUASHED FIGS
183
LES VENDANGES
195

A DISH FIT FOR THE GODS
88
BLACK GOLD BLACK WINE
98
THE FABULOUS FÊTE DU VIN
109
OLIVES AND LEMONS
206
EPILOGUE
215
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Born in the sedate southern counties, Amanda Lawrence was blessed with pioneering parents who regularly bumped her down the primitive roads of continental Europe. The Quercy was always a favourite halt, slowly working its charm on her until she finally succumbed. It's now where she lives and works, overlooking the famous Cahors vineyards.

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