Europe | France | Aquitaine | The Atlantic Coast | Bordeaux – Bordeaux/St. Emilion
Now, what would a trip to France be without a little bit of wine thrown in? Mary Helen and I traveled to Bordeaux next. At the Tourist Information Booth, we signed up to go on a tour of the surrounding wine country the next day. It was very much worth our 23 Euros each!
We met at the Visitor Center on Saturday afternoon. Us, and 40 other tourists, loaded into a large coach bus with drove us out to the village of St. Emilion. This was not a place we could have easily figured out how to get to without the tour. Many vineyards in the area offer tours and tastings. I am sure it was in the vineyard owner’s best interest to have a whole bus load of tourists ‘stop by’. He had a wonderful video which went through the seasons and showed how the grapes were grown, pruned, harvested and pressed, and then the processes the wine goes through. At the end, we sampled some wine, of course! and had the opportunity to purchase some of his wine ‘at cost’.
Next, we drove into the village of St. Emilion to see a castle carved out of stone. It is not many carved stones put together, but one large stone which had a church carved into the middle of it, and catacombs carved underneath it.
The downtown (AKA shopping) part of the village is small and built with honey-colored stones. There were a lot of wine shops that were happy to give us samples and try to sell us multi-packs of wine. I liked the feeling of ease in the village, and no fear of strangers. I think this feeling was personified by the cat in one of the wine stores sleeping on a box of wine bottles in the middle of the shoppe.
If I return to the area, I would definitely do another tour of a vineyard and spend some time in the nearby village. While big-city France is looking like big-city anywhere, the villages still have lots of charm and culture.
See Mary Helen’s page on the subject at: