The Dordogne river leads you directly to the city of Bordeaux, renowned for its world class wine and seen by some as the "the new Paris" for its beauty and culture-rich city life. We drove through the city and headed east to St Emilion, where we entered the romantic world of wine.
Directions to the tourist office brought us to this beautiful view of the city. We were happily surprised that along with a list of nearby campsites, they provided us with a selection of wine chateaus with available space for campers. We called a few and quickly found a home for the night, so we left the city center and headed for the vines!
Nestled within the beautiful vineyards of St Emilion, winemaker Pierre of Rose Cotes Rol welcomed us with a warm smile. He showed us our space for the night and offered us a tasting, well actually a 3/4 full bottle of their 2005. :) We parked the bus right up to a backdrop of vineyards, biked to the closest store for picnic supplies, and watched the sunset while sipping on a delicate vintage. What a dream!
Waking up in the vines to a beautiful sunny day, we brewed a cup of coffee and hopped on our bikes for a tour of the St Emilion wine-lands, the home of some of the world's most expensive grapes. We discovered stunning hilltop chateaus and fields upon fields of perfectly manicured vines.
That evening, we made arrangements to stay at Chateau Guadet, a St Emilion chateau belonging to the family of Xavier, a dear friend from Amsterdam. We met with his brother, Vincent, and were treated with an in-depth tour of the chateau & caves and a place to park the Blitz for the evening. Once again, amongst the vines.
Chateau Guadet is one of two chateaus located within the town parameters of St Emilion. We were immediately impressed with the elegant & sophisticated presentation of the chateau. A grand door painted in a classic deep blue with a discrete golden sign and doorbell, which then opened to a classically designed entryway and back to an enclosed garden where you enter the tasting room and caves. Vinent took us through the chateau, caves, and back to the tasting room where we tried some of their beautiful wines. Wonderful experience thanks to the hospitality of Xavier & Vincent. Thank you!
That evening, we parked the Blitz beside the Guadet vineyard and were welcomed by Vincent and his family. Once again, we were offered a glass of wine upon arrival, this time a 1970 vintage. Wow! We savored each sip and practiced our wine tasting skills with a view of the vines.
On our last evening in St Emilion, the town hosted a local market & party for locals and tourists alike. We perused the stands of local wine, produce, and French cuisine and enjoyed the ambience, complete with live music and hygge light strings.
Our time in St Emilion was a magical, unforgettable experience. One that we will take with us forever, especially whenever we find ourselves with a glass of St Emilion red in our hands. :)
Now, off to the Atlantic coast!