Day 130 of 400: Saint Emilion – France
There are three classes of wine in the Saint Emilion region: 1st Grand Cru Classe (This is the highest quality wine in the region and of course the most expensive), Grand Cru Classe and Grand Cru. Our B&B is owned by one of the 13 1st Grand Cru Classe families, Chateau La Gaffeliere (www.chateau-la-gaffeliere.fr) and was nice enough to call the vineyard to request a wine tour in English for us.
We started our day walking through the vines of this prestigious vineyard, then the warehouse where they ferment their wines in huge tanks and of course the cellar holding all the barrels of wine. We asked many questions and learned their process before ending the tour with a taste of their 2010 1st Grand Cru Classe red wine. For those of you who know wine, yes-the 2010 wine was still aging in the barrels, it has about another year to mature, but we were lucky enough to have a taste! It was full-bodied with lots of structure but also had the fruit…this will be a an amazing wine when it is released. We however will most likely not taste it once it is bottled because it will probably cost between 75-100 Euros per bottle.
We left our personal tour and decided to take a long stroll through the gorgeous vineyards around the center of town before stopping for lunch. We grabbed a couple of salads and continued our stroll through the streets. We bumped into the wine shop owned by Chateau La Gaffeliere and Hugo (our tour guide) was there and showed us around the shop. He pointed out super old bottles (1899) of wine that were selling for 1000 euros and more per bottle. He had us taste some additional wines and then wrote down the name of a château to visit in the Medoc region next week. We really enjoyed the personal attention he gave us…
We were ready to wind down the day so we stopped into a small wine cafe which sold fresh cheeses, meats, wine, etc. We stocked up on our picnic foods and began the walk back to our place…only stopping one more time at one more wine shop to taste their wine. You really cannot walk very far in this town without tasting wine. It’s educational, tastes good, it’s fun and it’s free…who are we to turn it down?
Back at our place, we spread out our various foods at a table on the porch and ate a picnic dinner. We decided to stay in the rest of the night to catch up on blogging and emails.