Sunday, June 7, 2009

St. Emilion, France

St. Emilion is blessed with two things--a UNESCO world heritage-listed Medieval town that is surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Thus, I decided to make a quick trip from Bordeaux.
The town’s architecture was similar to Sarlat’s, consisting of stone homes with wooden shutters. I guess I’ll never get sick of wandering down alleys with historic architecture.

As for the wineries, since I didn’t have a car, I was limited to the few wineries within walking distance. Many of these wineries have wine tasting by appointment only. Furthermore, many are closed for about 2 hours for lunch. Wine tasting in France is an informal affair. For example, it is less commercialized than in the U.S. and hours are not strict. I got a taste of the latter when I arrived at a winery during operating hours, only to find the doors shut and the staff nowhere to be found.

I only got a chance to visit one winery in town. I was amazed at the underground stone cellar, dating from Medieval times. This is definitely something they don’t have in the “new world”. As for the tasting, I sampled a series of Bordeaux reds (blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) and whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon). Several of the reds tasted “spicy”, which was interesting.

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