World heritage wine regions: Bordeaux, France

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travel, Bordeaux

As well as being France’s largest wine-growing region, Bordeaux is home to some of the world’s most revered vineyards. However, it is the town of Bordeaux (‘Port of the Moon’, named for the crescent-shaped bend in the Garonne River) that is the official UNESCO site, due to its role as a cultural centre and for its architectural consistency.

According to UNESCO, the city’s 2,000-year-old role as the capital of a world-famous wineproducing region make it a shining example of cultural heritage. And in many ways, the city is as lovely and intriguing as the region’s châteaux.

The city centre also gets praise for its beautifully preserved classical and neo-classical architecture, much of which has remained unchanged for well over two centuries.

In the past decade most of the buildings (previously covered in layers of grime and soot) have undergone a massive façade-cleansing, lending added lustre to the city’s grand structures.

Given Bordeaux’s density of fine dining, shopping and culture, as well as its situation at the centre of the region’s various appellations, it’s an ideal place to stay during a visit.

Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the city, take a class at the Bordeaux Wine School, jaunt into the Médoc (or any of the other nearby appellations) and finish the day with dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Plan your trip for May to enjoy all of the outdoor offerings and beat the summer crowds.

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