Skip to main content

Travel Tuesday: The Ten Top Reasons to Visit Bordeaux

“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

The Bordeaux 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.

1. Try the wine: Bordeaux produces many types of wine, from dry whites to dessert whites, reds, rosés, and even effervescent wines (crémant). Some of the most prestigious estates of the world are located in Bordeaux. The region does not only produce grand crus or expensive wines; in fact, those wines account for only 2% of the overall production of the region! So there are many opportunities to discover a few new favorites to add to your cellar.

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 France. The historic center boasts 18th century architecture and rivals Paris for the most historical monuments in France. 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 Bordeaux attractive for all.

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 Bordeaux’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 village of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its monuments, many shops and galleries (including some of the region’s best wine shops).

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 Bordeaux 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.

6. Go to school: There is no better way to discover the culinary delights of Bordeaux 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.

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 Bordeaux (T-Sun 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 Provence.

9. Life’s a beach: The Dune of Pyla, the largest sand dune in Europe, is located about 40 miles from Bordeaux, 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.

10. Eat like the natives: Bordeaux 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 Bordeaux 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.

Comments

I've heard so much about Bordeaux white wines, generally im more of the red wine person, but with the reviews i've heard and read through friends and other websites im getting more and more curious about this mix, I hope I can finish my school requirements before the term starts so I can tour a bit around Bordeaux, oh by the way I'll be taking a short course in culinary.. im really so excited..

Popular posts from this blog

Champagne Uncorked: A Visit to Champagne Louis Roederer

“I'll drink your champagne. I'll drink every drop of it, I don't care if it kills me.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby Girls
My first trip to Champagne, was for me, a complete success. I came away from the trip with a brand new appreciation and a deeper desire to get to know it so much better. With each trip to France, I come away with a profound new respect for the country and its people. I've become a Francophile. A place, I barely knew or understood twelve years ago, back before I started this wine journey I'm currently on. I know this will sound cliched, but I like to think of wine as a journey, it's not a destination.

Each stone you overturn on the pathway to discovery develops greater understanding and appreciation not only for the wine but for the great folks behind these labels, who bring great traditions and passion to the table. It's evident in what they say, how they say it and oh-so-evident in the final product, passion is a sure 'seller' a…

Five Last-Minute Thanksgiving Wine Buys

"The three things that make a vineyard great are the climate, the soil, and the exposure. Bien Nacido Vineyard ~ James Ontiveros  

Another wonderful year is nearly ready to put in the can and stored away for posterity. But every year at this time we collectively take the time-out to give a "thanks" for our many blessings.Every year at this time, I give my Top Five Thanksgiving Holiday Wine 'picks' and this year is no exception. I know my post is a bit "danger" close for those wanting to stock up for the holiday, but this short and sweet guide is for the procrastinators who've waited for the last minute to hear about five Oregon Pinot Noir selections to brighten up their holiday menus for Thursdays big feast. 

The Willamette Valley in Oregon is known as a 'mecca' of sorts, where powerful, yet delicate, soulful Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay is grown, fermented, aged and bottled. I've recently become a resident of this state, much t…

A Spoonful of Social Media

“You can buy attention [advertising]. You can beg for attention from the media [PR], or you can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” –David Meerman Scott, Best-Selling Author & Speaker

It was just about four years ago in downtown Paso Robles that Mrs. Cuvee and I were visiting the area, which we try to do as often as possible. We love to hit the wine trail nice and early, but before we head out for the day, we make it a point to have a big breakfast. Since we were staying at the Paso Robles Inn, we thought we'd have breakfast there at least once, the food was tasty, the service was excellent, and the coffee was hot. 

Just one thing was missing that morning; there were no spoons, yes you heard me right, not even a single spoon anywhere to stir cream and sugar into my coffee. We looked at the tables behind us, nothing, we looked into the server station, t…