"Bottle of Red, Bottle of White. It all depends upon your appetite."
- Billy Joel
Bordeaux, namesake of a vine variety, is the sixth largest city in France. It was also the central point of our wine tour along the Gironde River in Southwest France. We were fortunate to be able to sail with Viking River Cruises during their first season on the Gironde to get a taste of the region. One of our favorite parts about cruising is being able to hop off right where all the action is, and with River Cruises you literally step off the boat and are in the middle of the most quaint, French towns imaginable.
Through the cruise we visited Cadillac, Bourg, Blaye, Pauillac, and Saint Emilion. In Cadillac we toured a chateaux where Sauternes (a dessert wine) has been made for hundreds of years. Wine tastings overlooking the artisanal vineyards are a nice touch. What makes the experience even richer is learning the local histories of the wineries, how they produce the wines, and what modernization and a global market means for these family businesses.
The Bordeaux region is relatively small in size, so it is easy to visit many towns and take in all that the region has to offer. Additions to your trip on the front, end, or both are easy to accommodate. The train system in France connects you to Paris in a few short hours, or a rental car will take you farther into the countryside. The next blog will highlight the rich history found in the caves of this region. Until then, “Perhaps a bottle of Rose instead.”