Share Your Story contest: Daniel Winner of Week 8!
Congratulations to Daniel for sharing with us his experiences touring the Bordeaux region and its world-famous Medoc and Haut-Medoc vineyards!
In the spring of 2011, I studied abroad in Paris, France for six months. During my time in France, I thought it would only be a natural part of my experience to visit some of the vineyards. I had spent enough time studying. So one weekend in May, I boarded the train from Paris to Bordeaux.
First of all, the city of Bordeaux felt like a movie set. It was exactly how I expected a French city to look like. You could feel the history surround you. At one point as I was walking along, I noticed a modern blue street sign; however above this modern sign were the two older street names faintly carved into the building’s brick, one appearing to date from the monarchy and the other from the revolution. The city also lies right next to the Garonne River so the views were spectacular views as you dine at the local cafes.
After exploring the city, I joined a tour for the vineyards of the Medoc and Haut-Medoc region. As we departed, I looked at my tour group and I realized we were a diverse group from all parts of the globe, but sharing a thirst to know more about French wine. We then drove to a variety of chateaus and sampled their wine while learning about each chateau’s process and history. A surprising amount of intense care goes into French winemaking. Each vintner could and did passionately argue why their wine was some of the best. Hearing about the soil quality and how they select the grapes and made me realize that a lot of attention goes into this type of wine making. Needless to say, the views of the countryside were stunning, to see the neat rows of grape vines stretch as far as the eye could see dotted by grand chateaus.
Obviously, France is world famous for its wines and for good reason. When you are in France, I would highly recommend setting aside some time to visit some of the vineyards. There is no substitute to actually seeing the immense old chateaus dating back hundreds of years and to hear the passion in the vintners’ voice. Admittedly, the wine is also a major plus. I know I plan to comeback and visit the other viticultural areas of France, probably the Champagne region, but I could easily be tempted to re-visit Bordeaux.
Daniel (Lincoln, Nebraska)
• Tourism in France: go to rendezvousenfrance.com