A trip to Bordeaux wouldn’t feel right without a visit to the Right Bank, and its ancient city of St Emilion. KATHLEEN BUCKLEY pops across the Dordogne to stock up on wine, food and history.
There’s nothing Mickey MOUSE about St Emilion as a tourist destination. With its ochre-coloured, solid stone walls, vineyards with Roman pedigrees and 70 hectares of limestone caves, this is the real thing. And as a wine destination too, the medieval village of St Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site, outshines the Médoc, Burgundy and Champagne for sheer beauty and accessibility to excellent wines.
I’ve never met a wine lover arriving in Bordeaux for the first – or the 50th – time who doesn’t include St Emilion in the itinerary. This museum of a city, on slopes that rise from the banks of the Dordogne River and the surrounding luxurious rolling vineyard landscape of the Right Bank, makes a perfect weekend visit, or a base for a week-long foray into the world’s greatest concentration of appellation wines. And unlike many wine regions, if you travel with a partner who isn’t a wine fanatic there’s enough history here for everyone to go home happy.
For a wine lover – or amateur de vin – St-Emilion is textbook perfect.