Had a great day today - a pre-arranged tour for 7 of us, from Australia and the US all tripped out to another of the famous Bordeaux wine regions "St Emilion'. Reminded me very much of the Italian hillside town of San Gimigiano (if that's the correct spelling??), as a walled city of the 17th century vintage and all the small shops and cafe's. However here, because this is is such a famous wine region, every second shop was a wine merchant showcasing every known red wine in the region basically. We have begun to understand a little of the 3 levels of accreditation given to wines in the area - that area being St Emilion, as all wine regions do different things!!!
Had a private tour through an elderly lady's chateaux - her family had been running the chateaux since the 1300's and she was the current winemaker and simply by tasting the wine being made, she knew what needed to be done to it next or what level of 'readiness' it was.
Part of the tour was amazing and took us 15 metres underground to what used to be under the city tunnels but is now used as storage for literally thousands and thousands of bottles of wine, all full, unlabelled and many probably to never see the light of day - absolutely amazing stuff!!! It was staggering as to what was below ground. Many of the bottles will never be on the market, others are awaiting their 4 or 5 year cellaring but wow! this was something to see. Have a look at the photos and you'll see what I mean.
Had a delightful 2 hour lunch under the shady umbrellas in the village square, a wander through shops then back to our bus for the 1 hr trip home, a little more 'dozy' after a bit of tasting and a couple of bottles at lunch.