A day in St Emilion

Day 5, by Kelly

Four women showering and glamoring it up in one bathroom….quite a visual, right???!!!  And we still like each other!

It was an early start for us and we were on a timeline to meet our guide at the tourism office but we didn’t miss having fresh buttery croissants before our departure.  Délicieuse!!

It was a short trek to the tourism office where we met our tour guide, Rudolph. He was energetic, knowledgeable and fun! We knew that we were up for a fabulous day of wine, history and cuisine in St Emillion!

Our tour guide Rudolph explaining where St Emilion lies within the Bordeaux region

The farmers were protesting in Bordeaux by blocking the public highways.  It wasn’t an issue for us because Rudolph knew how to avoid the highway en route to St Emilion.  

Our first stop was in Pomerol at a wonderful 12th century family owned chateau. BTW, we learned that to be considered a “Chateau” you simply have to have 24 vines and must produce (from vine to bottle) and bottle your wine. Kasey has 24 vines… she and I will be making and bottling wine in 2024! Chateau Morales!!! That means creating a beautiful label….don’t everyone line up to get on our high demand distribution list. LOL!

A darling young French woman led a tour of the estate and ended with a tasting of two wines. The first glass was the low production first label wine and the second glass was their second label wine. It was fun to compare the two wines and see which of the two the four of us preferred.

We piled back into the van with our two other tour mates and headed to the next winery in St Emillion.  We were met by handsome Bruno. He led us through their production process and a visit of the winery caves, which were carved out of the limestone under the estate. It was a dark and dreary cave which led to barrels of wine aging and waiting to be bottled later in the Fall of 2024.

The estate owns a wine shop in the center of St Emilion. We all nestled into the cozy seating area while Bruno led through a tasting of six wines, two of which were from his family estate. So fun to taste and compare wines from the St Emilion region.

Our driver, Rudolph, made reservations for dejuener (lunch) at a quaint boulangerie. We had a wonderful meal with wine and finished with little cups of espresso served with mini-canelles. Love the little sweets served with cafe!

We waddled out the boulangerie and headed into town for a quick tour of St Emilion which is situated on the top of a hill. It has a rich history of being a place where monks and nuns would go to live. The town was very quiet because most shops close in January after the holidays.

We got back into the van headed to our last stop at Chateau Martinet. Another beautiful family-owned winery. We were given a brief history of their winemaking process and headed to their little wine tasting room. Rudolph went through a fabulous tasting of the property’s wine alongside a few  from neighboring wineries. So cute because I had said at the first stop that American wineries serve a cracker for a palette cleanser or something simple to munch on while tasting, so at lunch Rudolph went to a market and surprised us with light little puff pastry crackers. He really was a great guide!

We had a full day and headed back to Bordeaux. The farmers were still protesting so the public highway was backed up. Rudolph was prepared for traffic and gave us a game of guessing the aromas of wine to play. So much fun to pass the time!  My team (Kasey, Karen and myself) came in second……in other words we were the losers!!!

I had a Zoom meeting that evening so the “girls” went to Palatino for a great Italian dinner. They made such a great impression on the cute French cooks that they sent the them a ham and white truffle pizza!

I was so grateful…they brought me a bag of pasta, pizza and burrata leftovers. So amazing! 

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