Every weekend in Saint-Emilion must include a discovery of the terroir. The wine area was indeed the first to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The plains and hills seem to have been carved by man in celebration of wine. The impeccably maintained vines extend as far as the eye can see. Having survived intact, they represent a historical wealth which is essential to understanding the history of the vineyards and production techniques in this region.
Saint-Emilion has enjoyed exceptional wealth since the 13th century. The medieval town is its heritage. An essential visit during a stay in Saint-Emilion is the castle tower, dating from the 13th century. The “Judgement of the new wine” is celebrated every year there in June and the “drum roll” of the grape harvests in September. Once you have climbed the 118 steps, the tower also offers a unique view of the town and surrounding vineyards.
Most other important monuments are within walking distance, such as the Ursuline convent or the cloister of the collegiate church. The ramparts and their gates are also well worth a visit, as are the market halls and the cardinal palace.
Located in the heart of the medieval city, the monolithic church is one of the most surprising sites during a weekend in the Bordeaux region. This one is carved in the rock and is distinctive by its paintings, as well as the bell tower on top.
If there is one site that you must see it is this one, particularly due to the quality of the guided tours on offer. Here you will discover not only the heritage, but also the legendary history of the famous Saint-Emilion.
During a stay in the Bordeaux region, Saint-Emilion is the nature getaway par excellence. You are surrounded only by greenery when you take the wine route by bike. It winds through the vines and will allow you to discover the greatest local Grand Cru wines. The vineyards can also be visited on horseback or, a more original way, in a tuk-tuk, the small three-wheeled vehicle characterising public transport in South-east Asia.
For a few years now, a weekend in Bordeaux has also been an opportunity to discover some of the best restaurants in France. Saint-Emilion is no exception to this regional standard.
Many famous châteaux have transformed part of their wineries into gastronomy restaurants. Château La Dominique called on the famous architect Jean Nouvel to create an extension to its winery, topped by a first-class restaurant.
You can’t spend a stay in the region without visiting some vineyards. While it is more prudent to book in advance, most châteaux open their doors to the public.
Tours given in châteaux ranging from Château Clos des Prince to Château de Cantenac will allow you to taste some of Bordeaux's finest Grand Cru wines and also to learn about work on the vines. Remarkable buildings or old underground quarries used to keep wine will be among the highlights of your break.
Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion: two gourmet destinations to enjoy with both eyes and taste buds.
Enjoy Bordeaux and its vineyards in the Margaux and Pessac-Léognan wine-growing areas, during the summer season.