Morning comes late in southwestern France. It was nearly 10 a.m. as we got off our van to visit the first chateau on our Small-Group Saint-Emilion and Pomerol Day Trip from Bordeaux, but it felt like early morning. Mist slowly rose from the flat Pomerol land, and frosty grass crunched underfoot.
Southeast of Bordeaux on the fertile terroir of the Garonne River lies the Graves wine region. It may not be the first name you think of when mentioning Bordeaux wines, but among oenophiles it’s famous for producing all of the main types of Bordeaux wine. This means that visiting the Graves wine region can give visitors the perfect overview of everything from the vine that this region has to offer.
For the French, “Bordeaux” has two meanings – the city in the southwest of the country, and the wine region of the same name. And when it comes to that wine region, there is much to learn. Let’s take a bit of an in-depth look at the wines of Bordeaux.
The area around Bordeaux is known for its hundreds of vineyards, which makes many visitors imagine it must look a bit like Tuscany. And some of it does! But the town of Bordeaux, just inland from the Atlantic Ocean, is built around the Garonne River, which plays a central role in the lives of the Bordelais. This makes Garonne River cruises a great way to sight-see in Bordeaux, and a unique take on the wine tasting day trip in the region.
“Limoges” may seem like a familiar word to many, but perhaps not in terms of places to visit in France. Instead, it’s most likely associated with Limoges porcelain. Well, Limoges is where it comes from! And a day trip from Bordeaux to Limoges is a wonderful way to spend time on a vacation to southwestern France.
Mention Bordeaux to someone, and no doubt the region’s vineyards comes to mind. But to those who have visited this extraordinary city in addition to its miles of surrounding verdant hills, it’s the Garonne River that most likely sticks in their memory. That’s because the Bordeaux waterfront is arguably the heart of local life.
Bordeaux is on the itinerary of many a visitor to France, and rightly so. With hundreds of vineyards in the countryside surrounding a lively city center, it’s one of those surprising places that bring people back year after year. But while the wine country to the east of Bordeaux is well-trodden, to the east is a vast expanse of the Aquitaine region that is little explored by visitors: the Landes Forest.
A trip to Bordeaux is on the bucket list of every Francophile. But once it gets to the planning stages, it’s readily apparent that “visiting Bordeaux” encompasses a wide variety of things to do – and an area that’s bigger than simply the city that bears its name. So, what should you know before visiting Bordeaux? Let’s take a look.
The more visitors learn about France, the more surprises it yields. One of the most surprising of all is the Côte d’Argent, a 124-mile stretch of pristine white sand beaches that stretches from near the Spanish border up to above west of Bordeaux.