The forests of the Loire hide the secret of the origin of the best French oak barrels in the world. Ghost towns, century-old buildings, vineyards and green jungle are the ingredients of this unknown and unusual France and we have discovered it.
The Loire Valley is one of the favorite destinations for lovers of medieval castles, princely gardens and the peculiar flavor of the wines of the central area of France. But there is a hidden part in the valley of the longest river in the neighboring country, a little traveled and almost inhospitable zone where the villages are dyed in dark tones and the oak groves grow imposing.
The arrival in Nevers, the reference capital on the banks of the Loire River, is almost as gray as the cobblestones of its streets. It belongs to the route of the French Way of St. James and it seems that its streets are whispers of curses at night, of distrustful citizens and shady streets that lead to a cathedral of the fourteenth century or a ducal palace of the fifteenth century. After its silence are hidden things as fascinating as the uncorrupted corpse of Santa Bernardette Soubirous, a fact that turns the town into the “other Lourdes”.