Visiting St Emilion, a UNESCO world heritage site, was one of the highlights of our trip that you must visit while in Bordeaux! The more we travel the more I come to love small villages. I think the people are so much more friendly and always want to know “our story.” One of the most rewarding things about traveling is making friends from different countries with different lifestyles. Seeing the world has really opened my eyes and has definitely made me grow as a person even in under a year of traveling.
Since we decided to book a wine tour we had to leave the pup at home. I still think of it as one of the most stunning quaint villages I have ever been and it has absolutely stolen my heart. This fairy tale village was so unique with it’s cobblestone streets and beautiful vineyards that went on for miles. It is believed that St Emilion was named after a Breton monk who came to the city 1300 years ago and lived in a cave before the city was built. Legend has it he performed miracles and a seat he carved from limestone aided in fertility. After his death his followers settled here and named the town after him.
We visited many chateaux during our tour and the Chateau Gaudet was located in the heart of the village of St. Emillion. I will make a separate post about the other vineyards the tour included. Even if you plan on visiting the city by your self without a tour group, you will need to book a tour for the Chateau. The estate is owned by the Lignac family who have been in charge for 6 generations. We were lucky enough to meet Guy Lignac when we arrived at the estate’s beautiful courtyard and he allowed us to view his stunning private collection of wines in a man made cave located under the estate, many of which dated before Word War II and some before World War I, including a selection of the best wines from Saint Emilion from 1989, 1964, 1955, 1945, and 1921. The unique temperature and humidity of these caverns are ideal for wine storage, and kept the bottles in perfect conditions, some for nearly a century. These caves are carved under most of Saint Emilion and extend, according to the locals, at least eleven kilometers. The limestone carved out from the cave was used for the limestone facades to be used in both Paris and Bordeaux.
The vineyard is planted with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. I am usually a cab kinda gal but I fell in love with the smooth Merlot wines in France (the best wines I have ever had). Even the 2 Euro bottles from the grocery store were amazing! We drank a bottle of wine everyday while in France, no regrets. The vineyard of Chateau Gaudet has a terroir (the French word for the combination of soil, temperate, weather, and the care of the vintner) of limestone and clay soils located on the right bank, which is more suitable for Merlot grapes. The left bank is predominately gravel based which is perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon. The plateau of St Emilion has thick layers of limestone, clay and elevation offers some of the best terroir and soils in Bordeaux.
The Lignac’s families beautiful courtyard.
Time for a wine tasting!
The best wines I have ever had! If you find these in the states they will be a lot more expensive. St. Emilion is a small district so you would have to go to a specialty shop in the states for the hopes of finding one. It makes me sad I may never have them again unless I visit St. Emilion again.
Oh the aromas!!
We stopped for an amazing lunch in the village! Steak and potatoes for me.
My boyfriend had a duck breast burger with foie gras, gruyere cheese, and a foie gras grazy!
The Saint Emilion Monolithic church.
The village is so stunning!