I’m not kidding. It smells like wine as you approach this quant village in the southwest of France. This world heritage site sits quietly on the top of a hill, surrounded by an endless horizon of vineyards… and with my visit being for that of most people, I was simply in wine heaven.
I planned my trip for October, just after picking season. This would benefit us in more than one way, as we’d be avoiding hundreds of tourists frantically rushing around an otherwise quiet place, and it would mean visiting the châteaux with plenty of privacy.
I was not disappointed. I spent the morning exploring the winding cobbly streets with a camera at hand and a look of amusement on my face.
The train tour itself wasn’t particularly informative on the wine front, but very informative on the history of St-Émillion and its ties with all the chateaux in the area. However, once at the Rochebelle Château, I was able to ask as many questions as I wanted about the wine process.
If you’re not interested in taking a tour and would rather just drink some wine (I don’t judge), then the village itself has plenty of wine shops and cellars with that option. Otherwise, you can get in contact with specific châteaux and book a wine tasting directly with them, but, just be warned, these always require pre-booking!
So, if you are planning a trip to the Bordeaux area, then you MUST add St-Émilion to your ‘to do’ list. It makes for a lovely day trip and a great starting place for understanding wine, its history and its process. And for the ‘not-so-newbies’, it’s the perfect place to add to your knowledge, all while enjoying the beauty that is the French countryside.