Which wine tour in Bordeaux to choose while travelling? As the Bordeaux region is so unapologetically spoilt for choice when it comes to wine, vineyards and castles, that it’s not at all easy to find your way. Here are some tips to help your choice of wine tour.
The history of wine in Bordeaux goes back to 1AD when the first ever vine stock was planted in the Graves subregion located towards the south of Bordeaux. Sauternes is part of this subregion. Not only is the region the birthplace of wine but nowadays, it is the only place where you can find the prestigious Cru Classés in red and white.
If you like French châteaux mixed with a bit of history, there are several stunning medieval castles-fortresses to bring you back to the past. Some of them have remained intact since 14th century!
This section of Bordeaux stretches from the north of the city to the Grave. The golden era of the Médoc vineyards dates back to the XVII and XVIII centuries. Thanks to the famous Médoc wine classification of 1855, these wines are known all over the world.
A plethora of heart-stopping castles in this region is worth a visit. Wine tastings in the Médoc châteaux often have something special – a personal touch, like, for instance, associations wine – cheese or wine – chocolate, or vertical and/or blind tastings to find out what are you tasting.
The Dordogne river outlines part of the commune of Libourne. To the north-east stumble upon Pomerol and to the east you have Saint-Emilion. Here, the post-card worthy vineyards are compact, one after the other. The most common variety of vine which amounts to 65% of the areas’ production is the red merlot.
Saint-Emilion vineyard is famous for its medieval architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A morning walk around the commune stopping by the Monolithic church carved from a limestone cliff is a must. This is the ideal wine tour in Bordeaux to mix history and wine!
Entre-deux-Mers, literally, “between two sees”, derives its name from its location: between the rivers Garonne and Dordogne. It is found to the south-east of Bordeaux. The origin of wine production in this region is rather peculiar.
It was the monks of the abbey de la Sauve-Majeure, now in ruins, who worked the vineyards and established commercial links with England. More than 50% of Bordeaux’s wine is produced here. The white wine is particularly reputed.
Rewind your watch and go back back in time to these communes rich in history. Take a stop off at the pre-historic era with the caves of Pair-Non-Pair in Prignac-et-Marcamps and appreciate their cave-art. These caves date further back than those of Lascaux!
In Blaye and Bourg you can find two rare varieties of wine not commonly found in the Gironde region: the white merlot and the colombard. Amongst the special places to visit: the 17th century Vauban de Blaye fortress in the commune of Blaye. It is one of the stops on the various wine cruises.
Complete original article by Michelle de la Rosa Lewis. Bordeaux. Summer ’16. N°2.