AQUITAINE: WINE, HISTORY AND TASTE.

Bordered along the whole of its west coast by the Atlantic Ocean, Aquitaine is bathed in a mild oceanic climate with the influence of the Gulf Stream. Average temperatures, the whole year is mild in Aquitaine…

Saint Emilion

Saint Emilion

The 2,200 sunshine hours per year make the Bordeaux region similar to the Mediterranean. Along with rainfall that is well distributed over the year, this sunshine is one of the elements which favour vine-growing in Aquitaine. In each of the fifteen winegrowing areas in Aquitaine, tourism and wine professionals have undertaken a quality procedure. Each service provider who is a member of ‘Destination Vignobles’ acts as a tourism ambassador with the aim of showing holidaymakers the winegrowing territories of Aquitaine. Take the opportunity also to visit the wonderful chateaux scattered on the Terroir. The majority of guided tours of chateaux end with a tasting, usually free and without any obligation to buy. Breathing the scent of Armagnac line next to the still, inhaling a wine cellar. Aquitaine is one huge vineyard from the famous wines of the Bordeaux region to the equally magical produce of Bergerac, Duras, Buzet and Pau… You’ll find vines in the foothills of the Pyrenees, around unexpected corners in small villages, or just a few hundred metres from the centre of Bordeaux. Wine may sometimes appear to be shrouded in mystery, but in fact it couldn’t be easier to discover, enjoy and share. All it takes is the indulgence of a tasting session amongst friends, a chance to meet real winemakers, or a stroll amidst the endless rows of vines. Take advantage of the commitment of our tourism and wine professionals to enjoy a truly prodigious stay in Aquitaine. Many vineyards and chateaux are open to visitors throughout the year. To get your Aquitaine wine tour off to a good start, the best place to start is usually the local Tourist Information Office or Maison des vins. http://www.oenoland.com/maisons-des-vins

Wine food combination

foodAquitaine is positively bursting with great regional products: foie gras from the Landes, caviar, oysters from Arcachon and Cap Ferret, Bayonne ham, Perigord walnuts, Blonde d’Aquitaine beef, Bazas beef, Basque pork, Ossau-Iraty sheep’s cheese, Espelette peppers and Agen prunes, just to name some few best known regional products. Aquitaine is home to an extraordinary network of farmers, breeders and small producers who are delighted to welcome visitors to their estates to share their produce. Some of talented chefs as Michel Guérard, Michel Trama and Michel Porto, work wonders with this fantastically broad range of flavours. The richness, strength and diversity of Aquitaine’s wine area offers a choice of delicious, balanced wines to accompany any dish, from traditional fare to the boldest modern creations. At the Bordeaux tourist office wine and cheese tasting are organized throughout the year. A guide tasting of wines is available from three of the region’s appellations, accompanied by chesses which visitors select themselves from the maturing cellar.
Historic villages
Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Pessac-Leognan, Sauternes, names which evoke not only famous appellations, but equally, beautiful villages. Saint-Emilion is certainly the most well known medieval town classified as UNESCO world heritage along with its famous vineyards. The monolithic church, the only one of its type in the world, is well worth a visit, as are the more than 70 hectares of underground rooms beneath the town: natural cellars where the wines are matured. http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com. The village of Bages has been restored by winegrower Jean-Michel CAZES to its traditional appearance. This village of wine and local flavor is home to a dozen guest house. I like to point out the “Ateliers de Bages” a series of galleries gathering together artists and artisan craftsman such as the Nat’Osier basketmaking studio. The village is also the site of the Cordeillan-Bages cookery school, and the Bordeaux wine school, which has courses for everybody from complete beginners to seasoned wine-lovers, to allow everybody to discover the secrets of the region’s great wines.http://www.villagedebages.com.

Henry BORZI

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