04 May 2009

Spring Trip to Bordeaux - Chateau Jaquemeau

We had such an interesting visit to Chateau Jacquemeau.  This winery of fives generations of a Grand Cru St Emilion was the exact opposite end of the spectrum from Chateau Figeac.  A small unassuming house and cave set in the midst of fairly flat and boring land covered with grape vines.  The wine maker gave us an in depth lesson on how to taste his wine including the slurping and sniffing of the nectar.  The only lesson I could not follow was the spitting section...his wines were far too good to spit out!  Suffice it to say our cave is now replete with Chateau Jacquemeau and St Emilion wines!  Enough of an enticement to get you all to visit??

01 May 2009

Spring Trip in Bordeaux - St Emilion

Our base during the trip in the Bordeaux region was the village of St-Emilion. It was a perfect place to stay. Ancient buildings hidden along twisty cobblestoned streets in the center of some of the best wine vineyards in the world. Definitely a gem to visit over and over.

Spring Trip in Bordeaux - Chateau Figeac

We visited one of the Premier Grand Cru Classe in St Emilion named Chateau Figeac. It reminded me a bit of the part in Pride and Prejudice where Lizzie visits Pemberley. The children of the Count were riding their bikes around the grounds listening to our tour guide. The owner, Thierry Manoncourt, came and greeted us and posed for a picture with us.

Figeac is a very ancient estate, going back at least as far as the 2nd century AD, during the Gallo-Roman period, when a certain Figeacus gave his name to a villa he built on this location. The site has been continually inhabited ever since then, as proved by vestiges: a water-supply system dating from the Gallo-Roman period, foundations of buildings from the Middle Ages with defensive walls, and the remains of a Renaissance chateau reflected in the present-day chateau's great door and tower.

Figeac belonged to the same family for more than 500 years, and was nearly 200 hectares by the late 18th century. Unfortunately, the estate was sold a number of times in the 19th century. Successive owners sold numerous plots, which explains the birth of various chateaux that appended the name Figeac to their own

We were fortunate enough to taste a wonderful 1998 Chateau Figeac. Something we would not be able to afford to have in our cave!

Spring Trip in Bordeaux - La Dune de Pilat

The dune is about 60,000,000 m³, measuring around 500m wide (from East to West) by 3km long (from North to South). Its height varies from 100 to 117 metres above sea level.

Spring Trip to Bordeaux - Foret des Landes

On our drive to Bordeaux recently, we drove through the massive Foret des Landes...the biggest forest in western Europe. In January there was a wind storm with hurricane force winds. The forest lost somewhere around 50-60 % of the trees. We saw huge piles of logs cut, trucks hauling logs and so many trees waiting to be cut. The destruction was massive!