The next day, I headed south and stayed the night with Matt Kling and Amy Lillard of La Gramiere, ex-pats who became accidental vigneron, because as Amy said, "We do everything on impulse." Amy laughed a particular kind of laugh, a good-natured, self-effacing laugh that seems to say, "The joke is on me!" Earlier that evening, close to sunset, she picked me up in a near by town next to the church. This being Sunday, the town was silent, except for the cats. At the cafe adjacent to the church a man stood in the window, picking his nose without apology. She arrive with husband Matt. Dogs barking in the car. Quick, to the vines before night fell. This is Lauzette, her favorite, "It makes such gorgeous grenache," she said. Then, onto their farmhouse in St. Quentin la Poterie where Matt stuffed the ravioli . Meanwhile, excellent hostess, she fetched a Cyril Bouchard Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs. She took that first sip with such glee I swear she was saying, "Oh goodie!" The champagne deserved the enthusiasm and Amy deserved applause for such graciousness. The wine is all pinot noir, not dosed up, sky meets earth. Too hard to talk and sip at the same time, I left for my bedroom to retrieve my notebook. Mounting the stairs, I heard the dog bark at the wind. I flicked the light and there on the wall, over past the bed but in jumping distance to it, I saw something dark. It was an odd shape, like an embryo with a cleft palate. When I snuck up on the critter to investigate I saw a smaller version of this: I knew it wasn't my mother. She was safely on the other side of the Atlantic. "Uh, Amy?" I called down, knowing I was interrupting her bubbly. "Could you, um, come here?" The moral of the story is if it looks like a scorpion and it's not your mother who is a Scorpio, then it is a scorpion. Yes, it is the Rhone and there are scorpions but hell, it was January! She claims she is not living a Peter Mayle fantasy but I think its possible she protests too much. The next day, after a tasting of her 2009s Amy and I went off to La Remise, a tasting of the hyper naturals.