The Clisson valley is situated in the département of Loire-Atlantique in the heart of the Nantes vineyards. Here, the grapes for the well-known Muscadet wine are grown. The valley boasts many architectural monuments which are testimony to its splendid past and also illustrate its extraordinary history dating back to the 10th century.
Both the prosperous period during the Middle Ages and the time when it belonged to the Duchy of Brittany are reflected in numerous buildings. The end of the 18th century was marked by the Vendée wars and the fierceness of the fighting led to the destruction of many small villages of granite and slate.
In the 19th century, the initiative of three artists with a fondness for Italy saw the beginning of a renaissance in the Clisson valley. The brothers Cacault and Frédéric Lemot were inspired by Italian architecture during their reconstruction work, leading to the creation of a remarkable landscape between the vineyards and rivers, which today still reflects the charm and archetypal role of Italian landscapes
The historical centre of Clisson boasts numerous sights, including the town gate, market halls, the Church of Notre Dame, the valley bridge, the Convent of Cordeliers, the St. Antoine bridge, the viaduct, the Church of the Trinity, the Garenne Valentin, the Chapel of the Templars, the Church of St. Jacques, the mills, the mediaeval fortress and the gardens of Garenne-Lemot with the gardener’s house and Villa Lemot. This 13-hectare park was created in the 19th century on the banks of the Sèvre. The pine trees, grottoes and statues in the picturesque park are also reminiscent of Italy.
Stop off for a break with Josiane and Joseph Batard. The Batard family will be delighted to welcome you to Domaine des Croix, their family-run winery. During your visit you can take part in work in the vineyards or help to harvest the grapes, depending on the season. You will be surprised by the vats and casks in the wine cellars. The visit ends with a wine-tasting session.