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What No Mountains - Part Two

Posted on
October 30, 2023

Hi everyone and welcome to the first blog post launched on my new skiing website, which is absolutely nothing to do with skiing, but more to do with our recent wine related adventures in Bordeaux. The previous post gave a summary of our recent holiday in the city of Bordeaux, but it missed out a fair bit of wine experiences. One trip that Harriet and I signed up for was a guided bus tour, from the city centre into the Médoc area, visiting two vineyards including tasting a couple of wines from both places. The first vineyard we visited was Château Lascombes Margaux, which is a Grand Cru classified vineyard.

Château Lascombes Margaux.

I'll be honest with you, I had never heard of this Médoc wine before, but was very happy to be shown around this vineyard, and in particular the brewing process indoors.

This was the first time that I had ever taken one of these types of tours, and I really enjoyed it. In fact the harvest of the grapes at the vineyard had only completed two days before our tour, and the harvest had taken about ten days from start to finish. Obviously a very important time on the calendar for the vineyard. Château Lascombes has 120 hectares which makes it the largest vineyard in the Margaux appellation.

Just before the big reveal and the tasting session.

For the record, a Château Lascombes wine is a blend of three grapes; 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. I thoroughly enjoyed both of the wines we tasted. After visiting a second vineyard, it was a slightly dozy coach trip back to the city centre of Bordeaux.

After four days in Bordeaux, it was time for Harriet and I to have a change of scenery and experience some beautiful countryside. We jumped on a train and headed towards the beautiful village of Saint Emilion where we had pre-booked two days and nights.

Saint Emilion.

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful place. Just like the city of Bordeaux, Saint Emilion is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and I can completely understand why. The village stands on the top of a hill surrounded by vineyards everywhere, many of them Grand Cru classified. You really get the feeling of being in the presence of sheer excellence.

I do love pretty architecture at sunrise.

Before Harriet and I booked this holiday, I did some research into when the golden autumn colours would appear in the vineyards. I was really keen to see these colours, especially as a keen photographer, hence booking the dates we did. So I was a very grumpy guy when these golden colours weren't around.

This subject came up in conversation during the wine tour Harriet and I took a few days before. The guide explained that yes, the autumn colours were very overdue. But the unseasonably warm weather was confusing the vines. Every afternoon when we were there, the second week of October, the temperatures topped out at 30C! This meant the leaves were still photosynthesising, and not dying back as they should!?!

Working the land.
"Where are the golden autumn colours" asks Mr Grumpy?

Having said that, we both thoroughly enjoyed strolling around the vineyards, in the coolness of the morning, and appreciated our environment. And I also still enjoyed having my big camera with me as well....

Yes the village of Saint Emilion was a little touristy, but kind of in a posh and cultured way if that makes sense?

Needless to say, there were wine shops everywhere!

We both very much enjoyed our visit to this part of France, and of course would recommend it if you are thinking of a similar holiday. Now then, all of a sudden the days are getting shorter, and the clocks have changed. In fact Méribel's ski lifts are scheduled to open for the winter in under five weeks time. That means it's time for me to move on from summer and autumn subjects, and start thinking about skiing. Do come back soon, I've a couple of ideas for winter themed blog posts already. In the meantime..... Live With Passion. Martin.

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