Churches and towers and wines - oh my!
16.06.2016 - 16.06.2016 18 °C
After a hearty breakfast at the Chateau, we made our way into town for a day of exploring. Saint-Emilion is a UNESCO World Heritage site so the whole town - the buildings, monuments and vineyards are protected. After we parked the car, we made our way to the tourist office to get a map. The open door before the office was to the collegiate church - a very old, large Catholic church. Some of the painted frescos were still visible and there are 2 side chapels. It’s one of the town’s landmarks so we checked that off the list. I
n the Cloister (inner courtyard), they’re working on an Apocalypse project with artwork depicting the whole story.
Weather here this week is atypical of the Saint-Emilion region. Temperatures are hovering around 20C when normally at this time, they’re 28-30C. Plus, we’re getting little rain showers each day. They don’t usually last too long but it comes nevertheless.
After we had our map, we made our way to le Tour du Roi (King’s Tower) but it wasn’t open until 2pm so we crossed town, a few interesting staircases, and found Les Cordeliers. This was an abbey, also with a cloister section, where they make champagne-style wine. We bought an off-dry bottle and some duck pate and enjoyed a ‘picnique' on the grounds. So lovely! The slight sweetness of the wine reminded me of sparkling Rieslings in Ontario.
Time for the King’s Keep - one of the tallest points in Saint-Emilion, those in the ‘know’ can’t seem to decide who built the structure and why. But the views are fabulous - well worth the climb to the top for sure! The tower is used for annual celebrations of the Jurade. The Jurade has over 3000 members who act as ambassadors for the wines of Saint-Emilion throughout the world.
We had an appointment later in the afternoon at Chateau du Tailhas, the chateau at the southernmost point of the tiny Pomerol region of Bordeaux. There we joined 2 couples from the Netherlands on a tour. As most wines from Pomerol, theirs tend to be made mostly of Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon to round out the blend. The niece of the current winemaker was our guide. She is part of the third generation of the family-owned chateau - she grew up in the winery and is very knowledgeable about their property and processes. The end part of the tour of course was a tasting - 2008 and 2001 Pomerol. The ’08 was still fairly young, nice smokiness and still good fresher fruit flavours. The ’01 was much more brick-red in colour, with softer tannins and more dried fruit on both the nose and the palate. Mmmm
Close to the town of Libourne, we ventured in and eventually found a large grocery store. Picked up some food for dinners and then made our way back to the Chateau. Lovely day, lovely wines and fabulous food!
After dinner, we managed to get a Wifi connection at the Chateau - however to do so, we had to go outside to the front of the building near the offices. Who know wifi would have a hard time getting through stone walls! But, the rains came down again,
Mary Ann & Alena