People associate this corner of southwest France with an aspirational lifestyle. Four centuries of wine growing will do that: precision in the vineyards and cellars has given way to a global love affair with its structured, age-worthy reds. I cover all the great appellations. This cemented the romance between London and Bordeaux, leading to vigorous vinous trade by the s.
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This act forever changed the landscape. By the late s, appellations and brands had developed on newly revealed gravel soils. Chateaux familiar to oenophiles today began establishing their reputations, and consumer familiarity with regions and their characteristics grew.
In other words, Bordeaux had quite the head start. Perched at the stylish bar, I scan the menu. From the list of appellations marked on a map, I pick a few options to sample in small, two-ounce pours. Knowing the general dichotomy of style based on location and grapes allows me to make a few assumptions. The expert shorthand boils down to Left Bank versus Right Bank.
I wanted to explore a few whites — a category filled with bright, lively wines frequently ignored. I asked the waiter for selections from Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers. While modern drinkers associate Bordeaux with red, dry whites represented 60 percent of production in the s. Today, they represent around 7 to 8 percent.
French wines and wine regions of France
Pessac producers often age their whites in oak, like California Chardonnay, lending them the structure and complexity for long-term cellaring. These types of wines also command more money. Entre-Deux-Mers, on the other hand, provides a good value-for-money alternative. Wines are lighter, fresher and can be enjoyed earlier with local seafood specialties like oysters. To wit: the unusual and enduring classification of estates. Other classifications have followed.
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In , Graves used similar criteria to bring recognition to their best producers, including Ch. Saint-Emilion conducted its first classification in While GCCs receive the brunt of media and consumer attention, the category represents a tiny fraction of Bordeaux. A second category, for example, is Cru Bourgeois. It's hard to believe that this was a city that fell under British rule for three hundred years from the coronation of Henry of Aquitaine as King Henry II of England in Staunchly Bordelais to the last breath, Bordeaux enjoys an overwhelming sense of local pride and savoir faire.
Innovation is her middle name and a high-spirited, university-student population bolsters the compelling undercurrent of creativity rippling through the city. Peppering a tramline with monumental pieces of contemporary art, partying in a WWII submarine bunker, and dancing on a barge at the industrial wet docks is all second nature to this natural bon vivant. Read Less. Not only is it one of the most picturesque places in France, it's also one of the principal red wine areas of the Bordeaux wine region.
In the hilltop village of Saint-Emilion, enjoy a minute guided walking tour around its quaint and pretty streets. Then depart Saint-Emilion and travel to a nearby wine estates, where you will enjoy 2 other wine tasting in wineries Chateaux. You will be introduced to the art and techniques involved in the wine-making process and taken on a tour of the vat house and the cellars before returning to Bordeaux.
Then, taste more wine and enjoy some French appetizers including local cheese, fresh bread and saucisson dried sausage. Enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by a platter of local bread, cheese and saucisson dried sausage.
A Primer to Bordeaux Wine
Listen as your guide explains the wine-making process and discover a little-known fact that all Bordeaux wines are blends. Wander through the vineyards while your guide explains the main varieties of wine in the region. Finish your tour with a wine workshop to learn more about French wine. Leave the hustle and bustle of Bordeaux behind you and travel out into the countryside to discover the vineyards and wineries for which the area is famous. From well-known estates in Saint-Emilion and Sauternes to family-run vineyards across the region, Bordeaux has a fascinating winemaking heritage and a strong reputation for quality.
This half-day tour is ideally suited to those keen to discover the Bordeaux wine country but with limited time to spare. The tour visits two different wineries and vineyards every day except in Saint-Emilion where only one is visited and each one has something different to offer. Meet the winery owner or manager and enjoy a guided tour of the estate. Stroll the rolling hills along row after row of grape-laden vines, and admire the beautiful scenery this part of France has to offer. Enjoy two tastings along the way and gain an appreciation of the delicate fruitiness of the wines produced.
After five hours exploring the Bordeaux wine country and enjoying tastings, your tour will come to an end. Jump on your air-conditioned minibus and escape Bordeaux for charming St Emilion. This village — one of the most picturesque in France — dates back to the eighth century and is one of the principal red wine areas of the Bordeaux wine region. On your way to the village of St Emilion, stop at a grand cru estate in Saint Emilion or in a carefully selected Winery of the Pomerol Appellation and enjoy a wine-tasting and visit of the chateau.
Stroll the narrow streets full of beautiful buildings or engage in retail therapy in the local shops. Return to Bordeaux.