If you are in Bordeaux, you should go exploring the vineyards, n'est ce pas?
Well, that is what we did.
My cousins in California are wine fans. Megafans, actually. So they organized a wonderful family day trip into the vineyards of the right bank of Bordeaux (with more than a little help from our travel agent extraordinaire, Teri Crane!)
FIrst stop, Chateau du Tailhas.
We were met by the owner/winemaker Luc Nebout.
He's passionate about his wine. He considers them his children.
His passion and commitment shows. As does his enthusiasm.
We got the "fancy" tour...at least I thought so. We explored EVERYWHERE.
And then on to the good stuff!
We had a little time before our lunch reservation in St. Émilion, so we stopped for a photo op (and to genuflect) at Chateau Pétrus.
And then it was on to St. Émilion, and lunch.
St. Émilion is a charming town, filled with cobblestone streets and lots of hills.
Next stop, Couvent des Jacobins.
Our local guide was very knowledgeable- not only about wine, but also about the architecture and history of the buildings.
I loved that this old (OLD) book was sitting out in the open.
With just this simple sign.
Hutch found a hideout in the tiny courtyard garden.
I thought this was fun...the winemakers give each of the fermenters girls' names.! And as each fermenter is emptied into barrels, the barrels are marked so you know what came from which!
Down deep into the cellars of Couvent des Jacobins. All of the old wines are stored here.
We learned that most of St. Émilion is connected by underground tunnels.
Even tinier stairs further down into the ground.
Wine cellared in the most unusual places.
Then, off to a another winetasting!
How awesome a cellar like THIS would be.
Afterwards, we had a bit of a wait for our transportation.
Which was fine because it was a glorious summer afternoon.
Another fun fact about growing grapes.
Know why they plant rosebushes at the ends of the rows? Well, it's pretty, yes...but any insects that might attack the grapevines are attracted to the roses first--thus giving the winemaker a "heads-up".
It was a quiet ride back to Bordeaux and the ship--we had had a long day. But back aboard our verandas and ready to depart...
...what should come driving by but a bridal party!
Joy and happiness!
We ate for the last time in the Crystal Dining Room. I got a great photo with my friend Mario.
Sailing down the Gironde, toward the Atlantic, with the sun setting on the vineyards of Bordeaux.