There are many legendary wines produced in the Bordeaux region, but this town has more to offer than its vineyards and wine culture. From the Place de la Bourse, with its magnificent classical scenery, to the incredible Miroir d'eau with its fresh water mists, through the museums and a vibrant gastronomic panorama, the capital and the largest city of the Gironde in the southwest of France, has everything to please the most demanding visitors.
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UNIQUE WINERY EXPERIENCES
Bordeaux, as we all know, is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, but the truth is that until recently this was not a place where wine tourism had great relevance. The gates of the majestic Châteaux were firmly closed to tourists and most of the wine was sold In Primeur(an old pre-sale wine system long before it was bottled).
To spend a night in one of these castles was even more unthinkable. But times have changed and today we find with ease magnificent and luxurious experiences such as those offered by Bernard Magrez at Château Pape Clément.
Score an experience "L'éveil des Sens", Awaken the senses and let yourself be guided by a sensory journey that will lead you to discover the wine in all its essence:
The experience begins with a walk through Merlot vineyards, the oldest in the Bordeaux region. With the tactile discovery of soils and materials is highlighted the sense of touch.
Already in the wineries, it is the sense of smell that dominates. With delicious aromas emanating from the barrels, your ability to identify different scents will be tested.
It follows the vision – where the visitor sees the changes that shaped the vineyard from 1250 to the present day.
Finally, the time comes for tasting. Bordeaux wine is predominantly a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and the blend does not occur until the fermentation has been completed – usually in February or March. To understand the individual components that enter a Bordeaux, it is given to prove to the visitor samples of barrels of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and then the differences are discussed.
The tasting has a second part that is performed in different sound contexts, to understand how these can influence our appreciation of wine …
The visitor is asked to close their eyes and hear different sounds: birds singing in the countryside, cars honking in the city and waves crashing on the beach. With each sound, a wine is tasted and then the visitor is invited to write what he has found, to see how the sounds affect our perception of the wine we drink.
For an even more complete and luxurious experience, it is possible to spend a night at the Château and wake up in the middle of the Grand Cru Classé vineyards, in one of the Castle's five beautiful rooms.
Want to explore more the region? Then opt for a tour that combines wines with gourmet or cultural experiences. There are several tourist agencies in Bordeaux that create personalized tours, guided by experts who offer everything from incredible helicopter tours through the vineyards to workshops on the theme. Choose the one that is right for you. There are wine tours in Bordeaux for all tastes (and bags!)
It is no coincidence that, after its classification in 2007 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, Bordeaux won the title of Best Destination in Europe – for many this city represents the best that France has to offer and is the essence of luxury and elegance.
To get acquainted with the grandeur of Bordeaux, start at the central Triangle-d'Or, where you can enjoy all the splendor of the 18th century expressed in the majestic Palais de la Bourse (stock exchange) and the Miroir d'eau – the grand water reflecting the Palais de la Bourse.
Stroll in Bordeaux, then drive to the medieval district of St. Pierre. See La Grosse Cloche – a fifteenth-century steeple, which is one of the oldest in France and one of the few remaining fragments of the medieval period of the city of Bordeaux. Also stop at Porte Cailhau and admire the gate that survived the ruin of the ancient walls.
Take a sneak peek at the beautiful (and much photographed) Monument aux Girondins on the Esplanade des Quinconces. See the Bordeaux Cathedral and if you are interested in learning more about the history of the region, visit the Musée d'Aquitaine.
If your interest is decoration and design, do not miss the Museum of Decorative Arts. Housed in an 18th-century mansion, the museum was designed to mimic the interiors of a French house, and represent the evolution of design.
If you like art, visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
For shopping, head to Rue Sainte-Catherine and stop at a coffee shop to sample local flavors of cinnamon flavored with vanilla and rum.
The latest attraction of the city – La Cité du Vin – a space dedicated to the history of wine and wine cultures in the world, is also worth a visit.
The building with modern design and original shape, inspired by a wine decanter, was designed by the architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières and is located on the banks of the river Garonne, a little away from the main tourist area of Bordeaux.
Its wine shop has more than 800 bottles, of which 200 are from France and more than 600 from other countries.
Discover the vibrant gastronomic scene of the city. You will see that tapas bars are side by side with fusion restaurants and haute cuisine, many even led by Michelin-star chefs.
So if it's a foodie set a table at Le Pavillon des Boulevards, Le Saint-James or Hostellerie de Plaisance – the excellence of food and service will dazzle you.
Life, just like wine, simply seems richer and more intense in Bordeaux. Travel there and you will realize why!