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Brousse le ChateauBrousse le Chateau is a French commune of the Midi-Pyrénées region located in the department of Aveyron. Its integration inside the Regional Natural Park of Causses emphasizes the special character of its surroundings. The town is located in the southern department about 50 to 60 kilometers from the cities of Rodez, Albi and Millau. In the natural region around Roquefort, the main activity is agriculture, particularly raising sheep and the sale of the sheep milk to the Roquefort caves for the making of the famous cheese called Roquefort.

Brousse le Chateau was saved from ruin through volunteer projects driven by the association of the Valley of Friendship and was administered by members of the Foyer Rural until 2007. Since then it has been managed by the municipality. Ranked among the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" since 1997, Brousse le Chateau is a wonderful example of architecture dating from the Middle Ages. The town openly welcomes visitors into this privileged site where nature lovers will enjoy recreational activities such as hiking, fishing and canoeing. History buffs, scholars and lovers of architecture will appreciate its wealth of heritage.

Brousse le ChateauThe village of Brousse le Chateau, whose name probably comes from the Latin word Bruscia, which means uncultivated heath or scrub, dates back to the thirteenth century. It is primarily for their own protection that people came to settle here at the foot of the castle, whose presence on this site dates back to the 15th century. Invasions and wars brought conflicts which certainly affected the area. The Hundred Years War against the British from 1337 to 1453, followed by a period no less perilous than the reign of the Road - unemployed soldiers in peacetime which were organized in bands and lived from the spoils of the country. Finally, the Wars of Religion of the late 16th century were particularly significant in a country where many nobles embraced the Protestant faith, instead of the Catholic Church in the Vatican.

The village today is heir to a rich history of important events related to the history of France. The village illustrates perfectly the local architecture , as well as the environment which still bears the traces of a life organized around a terraced agriculture and the traveling trade once intense in the valley of the Tarn. Well preserved and still functional is a bridge dating from 1366 -registered with the Historic Monuments: The Gothic church of the 15th century dedicated to Saint Jacques de Compostela and the medieval castle which is an historical monument listed since March 2, 1943.

Brousse le ChateauOne of the highlights of a visit to Brousse le Chateau is the medieval castle - a real fortress whose defensive architecture is clearly visible with a dungeon, a succession of towers built into walls crowned with battlements and pierced with many loopholes. This protects all the houses of lords, the well-tank, the bread oven as well as inside of the high court and a lower court . Having belonged to the Counts of Rouergue, Toulouse and Rodez, the castle became the property of Arpajon, one of the powerful families of the French nobility, from 1204 to 1700. Some of its members distinguished themselves brilliantly in the history of France. You are left to imagine other tragedies darker - like the young Hélène de Castelnau, who at age 6 was captive of the Arpajon in these walls for three long years. Time passed and it was bought in 1785 by François Peyrot of Vailhauzy and his daughter Madame de Lauro from Rodez, sold Brousse le Chateau in 1839 when it was transformed it into common presbytery.

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Wine Tasting Notebook

French wine map

The fastest and most direct way to learn about wine is to take good tasting notes. This is no big secret, but simply the way that beginners learn the fundamentals and professionals hone their skills. The wine tasting forms act as both time savers for professionals and training wheels for beginner and intermediate wine tasters. The accompanying guides serve as a great way to jog an experienced taster's memory as well as an excellent introduction for novices to hit the ground running and learn about wine.

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French Wine Map

French wine map

There is not a more detailed, technically accurate or better looking Wine Map of France. The maps are extensively researched and includes adjacent regions in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. The map includes detail maps of Bordeaux, Côte d'Or and Beaujolais. Each is 24 by 36 inches, expertly printed on heavyweight acid-free archival paper that is suitable for framing. Included with each is an eight page index booklet.

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Wine Varietal Chart

French wine map

Clearly see the big picture of wine grape varieties and how they relate to one another. A beautiful addition to any tasting room or wine cellar. The accompanying reference book, The Wine and Grape Indexes, is the most comprehensive index available of the grape varieties used in worldwide wine appelations. It helps to answer the proverbial question: what grape am I drinking? The Wine Grape Varietal Table is 24 by 36 inches printed in color on acid-free archival paper and is suitable for framing, making it a great gift for any and all wine lovers.

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French wine domains
An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France
by Clive Coates

In this handsome and engaging book, Clive Coates, one of the world's leading authorities on wine, gives us the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and detailed study of the wines of France ever written. Coates's vast knowledge of his subject together with his natural gift as a storyteller make An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France as informative as it is entertaining. He discusses every appellation and explains its character, distinguishes the best growers, and uses a star system to identify the finest estates. With more than forty specially commissioned maps that show the main appellations and wine villages of France in detail and a format that invites browsing as well as in-depth study, this book will be essential reading for anyone, professional or amateur, interested in wine.

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