A little south of Bordeaux you can find this little place called Saint-Émilion. A small town with only 200 people left living there. It reminded me a bit of the ghost town I visited in California two years ago: Calico once housed hundreds of people, but since all its silver was dug out, its population has (literaly) been dying out. But do not worry: the soil of Saint-Émilion has most definitely not been depleted!
I visited Saint-Émilion from Bordeaux, which is about a 45 minute / 1 hour train ride away. You may know the TGV and this little train doesn’t come close to that. But, it is better than walking and if you want to do some wine-tasting (and why else would you want to go here?), driving is not an option any way. You can probably also take a bustour, because I saw several loads of tourists be dropped off at the top of the hill from an airconditioned bus.
Saint-Émilion is a small town with grapes and wineries everywhere you go. Me and my wineparty we visited Château La Gaffelière and Clos de Menuts. The first is actually one of the best wine houses in the region. We had a one-hour tour in which we were shown the vineyard, the cellar, barrels (very modern!) and of course the shop for a little wine tasting. It is definitely a nice place, but the lady was a little rushed to be ready on time and the wines are quite expensive.
Our next stop was Clos de Menuts. No tours here, but a very old (I think one of the oldest) cellars you can find in the city. Afterwards we did do a wine tasting, but both wines were not to my liking. What is also the case is that many wines from here are better the more you let them age. So the wines we got to taste are ok to let age for another 10 years or so. Of course the thing is that the wine over the years not only increases in age but in cost as well, so I am thinking that might be the reason we were served young wines that were not that great yet.
After the wine we became hungry so it was time to get some food! We went to L’Envers du Décor and altough the food tasted great, three of us got sick either that same evening or the next day. So I cannot make any recommendations here!
Besides the wineries, this little town has very little to offer. It looks sweet and is nice for a stroll, but mr. Scientist and I were done after about an hour. Especially when you cannot take any wine with you (like us, because we were travelling with handluggage only), there is not much else to do. There are some shops, but again most sell wine..