And last but not least, the 3rd part of this amazing trip to Southwest France, Saint-Emilion! As I told you at the previous post, we visited Bordeaux for 1 day and the second day we decided to go to this beautiful village to learn a little more about wine.
Saint-Emilion is a super well preserved traditional French village with all the fairy tale memories you may have. As if Bell and Gaston from the Beauty and the Beast was living here..! And as if this wasn’t enough, it’s a large area of vineyards, a whole appellation of wine, very famous for those who know. Extra treat, the jaw dropping chateau that every vineyard has and had me hanging from the car window while arriving and making “aaahh” sounds all the way! It was a total dream…
So, already from Athens I had make a reservation to a chateau near to the village that had a guided tour in English and because of that our reservation was at 2 o’clock splitting our day at two. So we had to have lunch just by arriving and after the chateau tour we’d return at the village to continue our visit.
When we arrived the weather was beautiful, sunny and cheerful (though at the end of the day not so much…), so we walked around a little bit before lunch. The only thorn at the fairy tale situation was the very touristic site that was, at least when we went. G for example couldn’t overtake it while I didn’t care much. We didn’t have the proper time though to explore it because of the schedule.
So by arriving at 12 o’clock we had to have lunch very early for our habits but that’s how French people do it! I’ve done a mini research from before and we went directly to the “L’envers du decor” a very nice restaurant with a picturesque yard. We weren’t very hungry but tried with pleasure 2 plates of their regional cuisine. I tried pigeon for the first time but I must say I wasn’t crazy about it. The wine was excellent though, both of our choices!
After the chateau tour we returned to the village to see more about it, we walked through the streets and admired everything around! Thankfully you can’t miss the most amazing view of the village at a central street balcony. It’s the 1st photo of the post, where you can see the square, the rest of the village and the vineyards as long as you can see. The weather this time was pretty gloomy but we were lucky not to have rain at this point, that’s why the half of the photos are sunny and the others quite dull.
Saint-Emilion is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a Cultural Landscape, a historical landscape that remained intact but which is still carrying on its activity. So beautiful in the medieval architecture monuments and houses as long with the large vineyards and wineries around it. It has a history of wine production since its early days, many centuries ago.
The chateau we visited was Chateau Corbin, with a beautiful house that the owner lives there and the winery on the same property. It was an unmissable experience even though the rain burst out as we were there. No problem, we’ll stay here drinking wine until it stops!
We learnt a lot about their production and the works of a winery that was very very interesting, I definitely recommend it! One interesting info: they plant roses at the beginning of every series of the vineyard because that used to protect the grapes from diseases – the bugs attacked the roses first – but now they do it mostly for beauty reasons and I couldn’t agree more with them!
Another interesting info about this chateau is that from generation to generation is run by women, without planning it. Women power rules!
I don’t know why but our group was full of old people, and then to the village we continued to be surrounded by them..as also at the airplane going to France we had pink and white little heads all around! What on earth, is it an “old people” thing to do, the wine taisting travels, and I didn’t know? Go explore it!
So, we and our young friends end up to a beautiful tasting room with wooden ceiling and stone paved floor and a huge painting hanging on the wall to taste the wines we’ve learnt so far, bought one bottle for back home and left happy with a lot of red alcohol on our veins!
Returning to Toulouse the same afternoon wasn’t the easiest thing to do after a day dedicated to wine…but apparently we didn’t think much when organizing the trip. I definitely recommend to spend the night close to the area, to see more things, enjoy the most of it and don’t get extremely tired on the way back, as we did.
In total, it was an amazing 6 days trip that I enjoyed a lot!! I could definitely stay 1 week more, expanding all these fantastic experiences! 🙂