Our Saint Emilion day started off by picking up our car at the Gare St. Jean station in downtown Bordeaux, a nice VW Polo, perfect for two. Ivan was the navigator, I the driver. But I can tell you I was forewarned not to act Italian in my driving technique as France has really hit hard on speeders. There are photo Adams everywhere. I our taxi driver who picked its up at the airport even forewarned about a new system that takes a picture an speed in the e ginning of your trip(as you enter the highway) and then takes another as you exit and calculates the average speed on your leg and if you are over the speed limit you get fines. Ivan, when he was in France for the month of May got 4 speeding tickets that were mailed to him by the time he got back to Edmonton.
So here we are, on our way to beautiful Saint Emilion. For those who have never even here, it is perhaps the prettiest village in all of the Bordeaux region. Many chateaux have extensive underground cellars that were excavated in the 16th and 17th century. All that limestone blocks that were taken away were used the builD the town of St. Emilion.
Our first stop was Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot, a Grand Cru Classe B, the 2nd highest classification classification in St. Emilion. Beautiful estate owned by the Becot family since 1969, it has underground cellars that extend for 4 hectares on their entire property. We had a nice visit that consisted of a cellar visit (see my Facebook pictures) and then a tasting of their 2007 Grand Vin as well as their 2012 (barrel sample). We actually tasted the 2012 before the 2007 just because the 12 being it a challenging vintage has softer tannins than the 07. Impressed with the 2012 as the château had to make sure all fruit was super ripe so production is down.
Thqt was only winery vist as our afternoon visit had to be cancelled by the owner. Ivan and I therefore had a longer lunch period and we visited the town of Saint Emilion. (see Facebook pictures) When you think about all that limestone excavated to create those cellars all throught the St. Emilion region, you come to realize that stone had to go somewhere. And it did. It was used to build the town of St. Emilion; buildings, churches.
The weather that day was sunny which was very fortunate as rain has been the common factor all throughout France during May and now June. flowering therfore was delayed by 2-3 weeks and our guide mentioned that Thursday the the tiny grape bunches were still quite unseen and within a space of 4 hours, you could actually see them grow in front of your very eyes.
The day ended nicely as we returned to Bordeaux and had dinner in a quaint resturant in old Bordeaux.