Monday, 13 May 2013

Saint Vincent, the patron of wine.

On the right bank of the Gironde and the Dordogne rivers, in the Libourne region, stands Saint Emilion, where some of the most famous Bordeaux wines are produced, predominantly of Merlot grapes and Cabernet franc, these Bordeaux are known for their subtle and elegant mouthfeel. 

The limestone soils provide good draining conditions for the rainfall of the region and capture the heat, warming the soils and helping the vines to grow and the grapes to ripen. Since Saint Emilion is also in slopes, it has a better exposure to sun, something not so easily achievable in the region.

Upon leaving Bordeaux, the first chateau (that does not mean it is a castle, but a estate, a wine estate) is Chateau Canon. Our French group is guided by a beautiful and impassioned young woman who definitely enjoys her work. You know, I do not know if the pastures are greener on the other side, but I have not yet met anyone in the wine chain who are not passionate about it. Yes, that is the future I want for  myself, to do something I enjoy so much I do not have to fantasise of doing anything else. 

It was at the end of this visit that I learnt the patron of wines in France is Saint VINcent, and the discovery is so hilarious, I just wanted to share it with you. 

Saint Vincent outside Château Canon

After this visit, we went to another Chateau, Chateau Haut Sarpe. The visit was really casual, the guide made it really enjoyable, a friendly frenchman with terrible english, but so charming, that it was all excused. The visit did not go too much into figures and details (something probably only I was interested in). They are producing their wines in cement vats, yes, the trend is back (see cement vat below)

I also heard about these in the course in London, and I did not even had to wait a month to see one! 

We had lunch in the state, all very good one with the regions specialities and after that, we visited the beautiful town of Saint Emilion. 'Encore un autre' pilgrimage stop of the Saint James way, I am on the right track, everything leading me home.

The town and its history are worth the visit. It is a UNESCO's world heritage place (Bordeaux is as well). At least I will have to give UNESCO credit for that. 

In Saint Emilion I had the time to walk around and to try, for the very first time, no, not another wine, 'Barbe a Papa' ice cream, that is sugar cotton ice cream! Ha ha ha... so many first timers. Life is fun! 

Now I am sitting at 'Bar à Vin' in the 'Bordeaux Maison du Vin' (the wine school) taking advantage of their great selection and their free WiFi ;)

Time for a walk an early start tomorrow to visit Médoc. 


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