Friday, 27 October 2017

Saint Emilion - picture postcard wine stuff

Happy to pay a lot of money playing tourist? Want the maximum choice in good wines? Want them shipped back to your country without stress?

Visit the delightful medieval town of Saint-Emilion not far from Bordeaux in the South-West of France, just a 40-minute drive away.

 Here the vines grow right up to the ancient ramparts. Everywhere you look it's bucolic. Saint Emilion is not really a grand destination but it makes for a pleasant trip if you are based near Bordeaux and want a break from the city.

In this wine-obsessed part of France you'll discover the Grand Crus. This town and vinyard were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999.

Excellent and varied wines are created here due to the exceptional soil and microclimate ideal for grapes. The grapes are mostly merlot, blended with cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon or malbec.

The place is full of underground tunnels made when extracting the limestone blocks used for building the town and some places in Bordeaux. Good wine, beautiful countryside, historic monuments and architecture and an enthusiastic tourism focus all combine to make the place a magnet for visitors.

Restaurants and cafes are back-to-back in this town which bears the name of a monk who is said to have accomplished some miracles in the eighth century. Saint Emilion's history goes back two thousand years. We took a pause in the central square. Drinks were expensive. I had a browse in the souvenir shop and was tempted by a number of quality things but time ran out and the shop closed before I could make up my mind. It's possible to go up the tower for a better view.

Lonely Planet has this to say... 

Yes, it's all designed to make it easy for you to part with your euros but still a special place to visit. They do tourism very competently.


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