Saint Emillion: a Medieval Town in Bordeaux

October’s Bordeaux was colder than Toulouse. It was raining when we got off the train. We chose to visit Saint-Emilion, a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area. Saint-Emilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux along with the MédocGraves and Pomerol.

The name of the town is originated from a monk’s name, this monk fled from Vannes, his hometown, to seek refuge in one of the natural caves in a place called Ascum bas(former name of the village) in the 8th century. He made the town a great religious center, even after his death his followers carried on his legacy and even called the town after him: Saint-Emilion. (wikipedia)

The diversity of its wines is due to both a complex geology (sands, clay, limestone…) and a microclimate that is perfectly suitable for winemaking. Combined with the permanent care of professionals for their vines, this association of “terroirs” provides ideal conditions for the nutrition and the maturity of the different blends of grape varieties (mostly merlot, blended with cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon or malbec). These varietals allow Saint-Emilion wines to have a wide range of aromas and flavors particularly appreciated. (wikipedia)

Looking from the train station, a large vineyard was in sight. Walking through a slightly longer country road,we saw the entrance of this ancient town. Most of the town’s roads are cobbled, there exist plenty of Romanesque churches, handicraft shops, and of course, the most popular are wine shops and wineries. We visited a famous winery called “Le Manoir” , we’ve seen some old farm tools, large oak barrels, and wines of various vintages there, many wines were preserved for a long time, the labels of the bottles were damaged, with dust on them, which was very historical.

What impressed me a lot is that there are many galleries in this small town, which show paintings of various artistic genres. We could even communicate with the painters.

In addition to delicious wines, the town has a gourmet market, you could taste a wide variety of cheeses, stew beef, sausages, crepes, etc.

Take a chance to visit Saint-Emilion to experience the beautiful pastoral scenery and long-standing wine culture!

Yanling Shi


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