Day 129 of 400: Saint Emilion – France

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The drive from Le Pian sur Garonne to St Emilion was only about an hour. Aahhhhhh…Saint Emilion, this old medieval town with it’s steep cobblestone streets and historic limestone buildings…situated uphill surrounded by some of the best vineyards in all of France.  On every corner is a wine shop luring you in to taste some of the most prestigious wine in France. Between the wine shops are restaurants, boutiques and bakeries making some of the best macaroons from a recipe dating back to the 1600’s. Sure, try to walk by and not follow your nose straight to the cookie rack…we bought 48 cookies while we were there-we’re not fat, they’re just small…ok, maybe 48 is a bit much.

We had gotten off to a late start today after checking out with Christine and Willy…taking pictures of their wine cellar and buying a few bottles of their wine. Before arriving at our next B&B, Le Moulin du Palat ( in Saint Emilion, we made a quick stop at a cooperative wine store for wine tasting.  A cooperative means they have several farmers who send in all their grapes from their vineyards and then the cooperative makes the wine, bottles and sells it. We tasted a few and decided on a sweet white wine to purchase.

Once in Saint Emilion, we quickly checked into our place which was within walking distance of the center of town.  The view from our window was picture perfect with vineyards surrounding us and the building itself was charming with ivy covering it on all sides.

Once in town, the first place we walked into was a large winery which had the tasting of the wine in their wine cellar underground. This was the first of many underground cellars. The old limestone cave was huge with tons of barrels holding wine as it matures. We continued on to the next place which invited us to explore their underground wine cave as well. This one was also huge with different rooms holding bottles and barrels and moss growing on the walls. We tasted the wine with the owner and his son. The son was about 14 years old and was learning about what would someday be his vineyards.

We walked around a bit more weaving through streets and scoping out the area. We decided to go back to our B&B for a bit of downtime. We worked on the computer and then opened a bottle of wine outside while staring at the vineyards and nearby château’s. It was getting late so we walked back to town to find a restaurant.

Down a steep cobblestone alley, we found a restaurant which had three tables outside and about 8 tables inside. We sat outside and ordered a 3 course meal. Giff started with a green salad with duck and foi gras and I started with a salmon tartar. We ordered a bottle of wine which was decanted in what looked like a huge wine glass with a spout. The wine we chose was the 2004 Aurelius, which ended up to be a great choice (we loved it).  Giff had the steak and I had the duck followed by a chocolate mousse and creme brûlée. Dinner was nice and relaxing after a busy day.

Once we finished dinner, we walked back admiring the huge full moon looking down on the miles and miles of vineyards.  We definitely like this place.

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