The Finest Vineyards in France: The Wine of Saint-Émilion
Part of experiencing of the culture and heritage of any place to is to taste it. In Bordeaux, this means sampling the area’s many rich wines from one of the oldest and largest growing regions. For connoisseurs, Bordeaux is a paradise for enjoying wine tours.
Saint-Émilion is a must-see region for any traveller in search of the finest wine, which is bound to exceed your highest expectations. On board Rosa, you’ll experience a wide range of luxurious flavours, whether it’s a rich and full-bodied red, or a light and aromatic white.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
In 1999, Saint-Émilion was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why. The history of grape-growing in the region is like no other, as the taste proves. Saint-Émilion, the oldest and largest appellation in Bordeaux, dictates over 5,500 hectares of land to growing grapes.
On board Rosa, you’ll cruise along the Dordogne River, soaking up the sights, smells and tastes of Bordeaux. Learn all about the varieties of wines produced here, from Médoc to the left to the vast selection found on the right bank of the river.
Types of Grape
Two of the most widely grown grapes in Saint-Émilion are the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc. Differing in taste and structure, these varieties have something for every connoisseur’s palate.
Merlot is composed of a rich, full-bodied combination of flavours with hints of plum, blackberries, dark cherries and chocolate, while Cabernet Franc is lighter and floral. The latter has become increasingly popular in recent years, due to its ability to thrive in spite of changes in climate.
Wines vary greatly in this region, which is due in large part to the differences in soil from vineyard to vineyard. For the most part, Grand Cru wines that are produced in this area are grown in soils that are rich in limestone, which can be found in the hills that surround Saint-Émilion. This greatly benefits the grapes, as the soil has vital minerals, such as calcium, that are needed to help vines grow. What’s more, its consistency provides excellent drainage.
Alternatively, the soil around Canon-La-Graffeliére boasts a sandy texture, which produces widely enjoyed and lighter-bodied tipples. When you join one of the many wine tours on offer, you can discover even more about the growing conditions and flavours of the region.
When travelling through France, wine tours must be on any itinerary. You’ll be able to wow friends and family back home with your extensive knowledge at dinner parties and events. While on board Rosa, you’ll experience the process of wine-making from the very first grapes harvested to the first sip of a freshly uncorked bottle. You won’t find a more authentic or delicious taste of France anywhere.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holidays. Offering holidays to France and other great destinations, itineraries include wine tours and other cultural and themed activities. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.