Earlier this month I came across Dave Kasper’s Touraine blog, Select Wine Journeys and discovered this interesting and moving story.
One September morning, local Canadian resident, Dave Kasper, was leading one of his group walks. This time the walk centred around the pretty village of Vouvray. Vouvray is famous for its sparkling wines (and I should know!) and so the group walked past autumn vines full of ripening chenin blanc grapes. They sauntered down towards the Loire and followed an old farm road for a few kilometres to find themselves by the vineyard of Domain Huet. It was here that they engaged in an hour’s unexpected conversation with Daniel Mabille whose family are long time wine-makers in Vouvray. As they talked Daniel pointed to a group of trees a couple of hundred metres away, and said that that is where his family home is and where he grew up. He went on to say that one day in 1944, a parachutist, landed among his family’s vines. Daniel, who was outside playing, watched him come down. The parachutist was a Canadian soldier who had broken his leg as he landed. Daniel rushed to offer aid and then dashed off to get adult help. His family helped bury the soldier’s gun and knife and made sure to get the Canadian into the hands of the French Resistance. Eventually the soldier had made it safely back to England.
It was in 1959 that the soldier returned to Daniel’s family farm. Later in the 1980′s, they were visited by some of the soldier’s children, and finally the Canadian’s grandchildren came to visit him a few years ago, in 2006.
Do click here to discover the full and moving account. As Dave says, there are so many life-stories just below the surface to be discovered by conversing with local people of the Touraine. Dave finds it a great way to deepen understanding and grow friendships.