|Chateau de Reignac|
On the second day in Bordeaux, we sign up for the Saint-Emilion Wine & Chateaux afternoon tour with Bordovino. We meet our tour guide Stephane in front of the tourist office and he shows us to the comfortable minivan. We are a small group of 8 people, which makes the conversation dynamic and the experience intimate.
We first stop at Chateau de Reignac, a Bordeaux Superieur. The elegant castle contrasts beautifully with the lush green of the surrounding vineyards. The weather has been colder than normal this year and the grapes are two weeks behind the schedule. I would have loved to see ripe grapes hanging heavily among heart shaped leaves, but this will have to do. We savor the tranquility of the land before the local guide takes us around the cellar. As we walk between wood barrels and stainless-steel vats, we receive a wine making lesson. We can feel pride in the woman’s voice and the cold, old cellar has an aphrodisiac effect on us.
We are very close to Saint-Emilion now. There are cars parked along the road even before arriving to the small medieval town. We take it left, through the vineyards. As we stop in front of a U-shaped limestone building, I feel hypnotized by the views. We are surrounded by vineyards and in the distance the gorgeous Saint-Emilion can be seen. The yellow buildings are in strong contrast with the green of the wine making plants, all perfectly groomed and trimmed at the same level.
We finish our tour with a visit to the heritage village of Saint-Emilion. The history of this place goes back to prehistoric times, but it owes its name to an 8th century monk who settled here in a hermitage carved into a rock. The monks who followed him started commercializing the wine in the area and since the village is located along the Way of Saint James, the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santigo de Compostela in Northern Spain, it’s easy to imagine thirsty pilgrims making good costumers.