“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
A timely travel article written by guest contributor; Pascale Bernasse, president of French Wine Explorers and, a great source for planning authentic wine and culinary experiences in France. You can also follow them via twitter @FrWineExplorers
region famously well known for its fine wine, it also offers so much more. The
summer travel season is nearly upon us, so we'd like to give you our top ten reasons
to plan a tour to Bordeaux
and find out why this region is so much more than just grapes to glass. Bordeaux
1. Try the wine:
2. Visit the city of
Bordeaux:The city of less than
300,000 people is easy to navigate and is one of our favorite cities in . The
historic center boasts 18th century architecture and rivals France Paris
for the most historical monuments in . A Unesco World Heritage
Site with over 340 historic monuments, a city center that is modern and clean,
and plenty of great restaurants and shopping make France attractive for all. Bordeaux
3. Visit St. Emilion: The picturesque
village of St. Emilion
is located on the Right Bank of the Garonne.
Merlot is king on the Right Bank with the
appellation of Saint Emilion and its satellites, Pomerol and Lalande-de-Pomerol.
Saint Emilion has some of ’s
oldest vineyards, producing well-structured wines with great character from a
judicious blending of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. And
you can discover the lovely medieval Bordeaux , a
UNESCO World Heritage Site, its monuments, many shops and galleries (including
some of the region’s best wine shops). village
of Saint Emilion
4. Sip and Spa: Indulge in a vino-therapy spa set to renew and relax. Vino-therapy is a beauty therapy process where the residue of wine making (the pips and pulp) is rubbed into the skin. The pulp is said to have excellent exfoliating qualities and help reduce the problems associated with ageing.
5. Try the whites: If you say
to most folks right away they think
of red wines, aging in barrels sitting in great Chateaus. But don’t forget
about Sauvignon Blanc, it is the primary grape variety for the dry white wines
of Bordeaux .
Sauvignon Blanc is also sensitive to noble rot, so it marries well with
Semillon in the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It produces wines which are
crisp, clean and medium-bodied. Bordeaux
6. Go to school: There is no better way to discover the culinary delights of
than a hands-on cooking class. Different options are available, from a 2 hour
class at the Pressoir d'Argent with a Michelin starred chef, to a full week of
discovering the markets, vendors and creations that are unique to the area,
such as canneles, a sweet brioche style pastry, or the entrecote a la
bordelaise, grilled steak topped with a reduction of red wine sauce. Bordeaux
7. A different perspective: Imagine cycling amongst picturesque routes dotted with vines, stopping along the way to take a break from biking and unwind while savoring your new wine discoveries. The area is relatively easy to ride which is practical for the weekend rider and tours lasting 2 hours to a week are available.
8. Go to market: Something for every taste; try the Capucins, where restaurateurs and caterers shop with the locals in the heart of
6a-1p). And in Libourne near St. Emilion; holds a great open-air market of
fresh produce on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday. This market (and the indoor
market featuring specialty goods) has all the charm of the outdoor farmers'
markets found in Bordeaux . Provence
9. Life’s a beach: The Dune of Pyla, the largest sand dune in Europe, is located about 40 miles from
, in the Arcachon area. Climb the top
of the dune and revel in the amazing views of the area. The Dune of Pyla is
also famous for paragliding and the multicolored sails floating in the sky are
worth the detour. Bordeaux
10. Eat like the natives:
has many wonderful Michelin starred restaurants, such as Cordeillan Bages in
Pauillac, Hostellerie de Plaisance in St. Emilion, Le Chapon Fin in Bordeaux, and low country favorites such as La Tupina in and Le St.
Julien in St. Julien. Beef, lamb, duck, foie gras and seafood are local
specialties and are perfect with the wines of the region. Bordeaux