The Bordeaux region of France has for centuries been famous for its production of superb fine wines. The area itself is gorgeous and I have spent many happy holidays touring around the various towns and villages sampling the delicious cuisine and of course some of the best wines in the world.
Bordeaux is steeped in history with fairytale castles, exquisite houses and of course delightfully ancient vineyards which have been in families for generations. I love to visit these vineyards and most of them today open their doors to visitors with organized tours. The estates in the Bordeaux region are superbly managed and a real pleasure to walk around. The tours are both interesting and extremely informative, not only do you get an insight on the way the wines are produced but you also get a great history lesson into the background of the families who own them.
I have always loved wine and there is nothing nicer than finding a superb chateau bottled wine to accompany a really good meal. Learning all about wines is fascinating with traditions that have been carried out for centuries when it comes to how the vines are cared for and then harvested, pressed and subsequently aged. Over the years I learnt so much about wines by just visiting the various vineyards of Bordeaux and the best part was I get to sample the wines before I actually buy them.
There are also some vineyards that offer accommodation which is great if, like me you happen to be a wine buff. One such place is the Château de Pitray, St Emilion which has been in the same family for over six hundred years. The Count and Countess of Boigne have inherited this superb estate and run it as traditionally as it was centuries ago. However, the accommodation is quite fabulous and a stay here is out of this world. The wines they produce are exceptionally good, the average age of their vines is 29 years old. The Appellation of the wines is “Côtes des Castillon”. The location is superb and is certainly worth a visit during the summer as there is a really nice swimming pool at the chateau.
Of course one of the most famous vineyards is in Pauillac, Chateau Lafite Rothschild is at the pinnacle of wine production in the Bordeaux region. The wines produced at the chateau are classed as one of the five Premier Cru Classe of wines out of around 1900 groupings. The Chateau itself is spectacular, as are the grounds and the fields of vines that go on for as far as the eye can see are quite gorgeous.
Driving through this region of France, you cannot help but be impressed by the endless fields of perfectly kept vines that line the landscapes. It is a marvellous vista that really does take you back in time. The history of the region is awe inspiring when you consider that the production of wine first began during the Roman occupation of St Emilion and it was in 122 BC that the first vines were planted in Languedoc, establishing this marvellous tradition for centuries to come.