I recently spent a beautiful long weekend amongst the ancient vines of Bordeaux, and in particular, the Margaux and St. Emilion regions. In Bordeaux, the wine making industry dates back to Roman times. The tourism industry; however, has only started booming in recent years. As our chipper guide, Josie, pointed out, competition with the tourism in places like Napa valley in California finally forced, the albeit reluctant, French wine producers to hop on the band wagon and open their chateaux doors… Lucky us!
I like my wine, but let’s be honest– I prefer my gardens and chateaux, and did Bordeaux ever deliver on that front!
Chateau Soutard overlooks the medieval village of St. Emillion. I have to admit, this Chateau lost a bit of its charm when we found out it was owned by an insurance company. That said, it definitely had money to burn, and the decor was stunning. In an attempt to channel its medieval roots, ornate wall carvings and tapestry-inspired wallpapers adorned every wall. The view of St Emillion from the vineyards was pretty breathtaking, too!
If you can make it to the Clos to la Medeleine, I recommend it as my favourite chateau in St. Emilion! From the lovely pigeon tower to the expansive views of vine-covered hillside, it managed to capture the essence of exactly what you imagine when you think of French wine country.
Bonus Tip for Bordeaux:
If you’re looking for an excellent guide, I recommend Ophorus Tours. Of the tour groups we booked with, Ophorus was by far the best! From the genuinely passionate guide to the amazing wine tastings, you definitely get your money’s worth. The eclectic selection of chateaux was also appreciated on this tour, and the guide even offered to detour if you had any specific requests!
Well that’s all for this week’s botanical adventure. If you’ve ever been to Bordeaux, I’d love to hear your recommendations!