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King’s visits boosts wine, and other good news stories from France

We also look at a kitten which found a home after being found in a car bumper, and a man who donates repaired computers to children in need

These good news stories will help put a smile on your face before the weekend Pic: halfmax / Africa Studio / Muhammad Aamir Sumsum / EQRoy / Shutterstock

1: Young winemaker inundated with orders after King tastes her wine

A wine producer from Bordeaux – who has only been making wine for three years – has seen her inbox blow up with orders and congratulations after King Charles III tried some of her wine during his visit to Bordeaux last week.

Her wine was chosen because it is organic and environmentally friendly – causes close to the King’s heart. 

“I received a text from the Bordeaux wine council saying: Would you like to let King Charles taste your wine?’” said Noémie Tanneau, whose vineyard is in the Lussac-Saint-Emilion wine growing area.

Since the king’s visit last weekend, hundreds of people have placed orders for wine from her six-acre vineyard. 

“I never would have thought that the King is the best influencer!” she said. 

Ms Tanneau started making wine “from scratch” after deciding to buy the vineyard, having never owned a vineyard before.

You can find the website for ‘Source’ organic wines here where you can order a bottle – if there are any left (when we tried the site today it was inaccessible as it was experiencing too many visits).

2: Comedian's son to launch radio station to help charity 

The son of well-known comedian Coluche – who helped set up the Restos du Coeur charity 38 years ago – is relaunching a special radio station.

Romain Colucci became involved in the charity after his mother’s death five years ago. 

With the charity facing financial difficulty, he is now relaunching the Radios Restos initiative, a temporary radio station, which has been run three times in the past as has raised almost €1 million so far.

From 20:00 on Friday 29 September to 20:00 on Sunday 1 October, Radio Restos will be on the air, with celebrities and radio presenters joining to host shows. 

Special shows and interviews with volunteers at the charity will be broadcast, as well as an excerpt of Coluche’s original 1985 appeal when he launched the charity for the first time.

“The aim is to be able to buy refrigerated lorries to supply the 2,100 Restos centres in France,” Mr Colucci said. 

“It's great to do an operation on the radio, because that's where the charity all started in 1985. 

“There should be around 170 million meals distributed in 2023, compared with 140 million in 2022.”

In 1985 – when it was hoped the appeal would only last for one winter – 8.5 million meals were delivered.

“We can no longer sweep this under the carpet,” Mr Colucci said

“Because of inflation, many low-paid workers now come to the Restos because they don't want to have to choose between food and heating. And one out of every two Restos du Cœur beneficiaries is under 25.”

You can listen to the show from 20:00 here. At the end of the weekend, Romain Colucci will announce how much money was raised during the event. 

Read more: Restos du Coeur: Why issues at France’s biggest charity have hit hard

3: Man rescues kitten from under his car radiator; another employee takes it in 

A restaurant owner found an unexpected passenger in his car, when he discovered a kitten hidden inside his bumper. 

Frédéric Illand – owner of two restaurants in Coutances, Manche – said his car was making “a funny noise” when he went to drive it home two weeks ago (September 19). 

It sounded like an animal but, as he could not see anything, he drove his car to a garage to get it checked out. 

The mechanics dismantled the underbody of the car but found nothing.

“I started to leave but I hadn't gone ten metres before I heard it again,” said the restaurateur. 

The mechanics then took apart the bumper, where a one month-old kitten was found covered in dirt. “It was scared and stunned,” Mr Illand said. 

He took the kitten to a vet – who confirmed it was not microchipped – and then home.

Meanwhile, one of Mr Illand’s employees, Théophile Gaillard, had been meant to pick up a kitten for his family, but the animal had unfortunately died before he got the chance. 

“A colleague asked me if I believed in fate, and told me that Frédéric had found a cat in his car,” said Mr Gaillard. “We bonded from the very start, and he is now at home. I’ve already taken lots of photos, my gallery is full.”

Another colleague brought him cat litter and items from his home to help.

Many pets in France are given names starting with a certain letter, that changes year by year. For 2023 the letter is U. 

“Being a big Pokémon fan, I decided to call it Unys; I thought it was beautiful” Mr Gaillard said. Unys (Unova in English) is the name of a geographical region in Pokémon games. 

Read more: Record animal abandonment in France sparks shock campaign

4: Man offers free repaired computers to children in need 

A tech wizard in northern France uses his spare time to fix old and faulty computers – and then donates them to children who need them.

Luis, who works in a computer repair shop in Plessis-Belleville (Oise), takes computers that are too old to be sold and, instead of taking them to the tip, fixes them in his spare time. 

After they are repaired, he offers them free of charge on the community’s Facebook group.

“They are for any child who is at least ten and does not have one already at home,” Luis said.

He started to donate the computers thanks to his daughter, Enola. 

She used to ask him to help her donate her old clothes and toys to other children nearby, when she stopped using them. 

“Then one day, she told me some of her friends did not have computers at their homes. I have not stopped since then,” he added. 

The computers can be used to help children complete homework and school projects. 

“I donate them for the kids but also for Enola, so that she learns to sometimes give without expecting anything back in return.”

Currently, Luis repairs around two computers per week to donate forward, sometimes needing spare parts from up to four other computers to create the new one. 

Related articles: 

Strangers’ kindness and three other good news articles from France

A heart, a cat, and a rugby star: Three good news stories from France

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