We went on a trip to Bordeaux to celebrate our friend Allison’s birthday in mid-March 2020. This was the weekend right before confinement started in France. When we were leaving Bordeaux on Sunday, we learned that the trains and busses had stopped as we waited for the bus with no success. While public transportation was not running, Ubers still were and we were able to call one to take us to the airport. It was a strange feeling – not knowing what confinement actually looked like. People were out at wineries, restaurants, and bars and weren’t concerned with the virus the entire weekend.
On Saturday, we went on a winery tour of two local wineries in the area and took a walk through Saint-Emilion, an old medieval town. We visited a rustic winery, Château la Renommée, and a ‘grand cru classé’ winery, Château Jean Faure. At both wineries, we took a tour of the estate, learned how wine was made at their site, and the best part… enjoyed tasting wines! One of our tour guides said, “the purpose of wine is to create pleasure”, and isn’t that the truth! While I didn’t make it back with any bottles of wine, there is a fantastic Bordeaux section of wines at our local stores that we have been purchasing from now that we know what to look for (2016 was a good year!).
One of the most interesting things we learned on our tours is that every chateau in the area has a “first label” and “second label” wine. Even if they are made in the same area, the quality may be different and they have to be under two different names.
“Good wine is wine that we love”– Our tour guide at Château Jean Faure