France
Arrondissement de Libourne

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement de Libourne. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

20 travelers at this place:

  • Day33

    Day 33: Mussidan - Port-Saint-Foy

    September 14, 2016 in France

    Distance: 33k (745.2/1125.1)
    Weather: 19C, rain in the afternoon
    Mood: wet, but strong and satisfied
    Blisters: 0
    Staying at: Refuge Municipal (a very nice one!)

    The tide is turning

    The sky turned dark grey last night and within a minute there were gusts of wind and we were running inside with out laundry and chairs, finally the relief of the heat had arrived. A night of wind, rain and some thunderstorms and I knew this was going to change the tide for me.
    How lovely the coolness of the wet earth and grass felt and smelt. Like a fresh spring day. The storm had done some damage, including a tree that had fallen on an electricity cable and was close to burning...
    Suddenly it felt like I could walk forever and thanks to my magic sandles (I know sis, they don't look cool, but the camino ain't about looks) my feet no longer hurt and 30+ on a cooler day is suddenly easy.
    Great company of Irma and Lucien led to lots of laughing and even and hour of rain and muddy paths couldn't get to us. We laughed and we walked and we arrived at a fabulous refuge, with the best shower ever, comfy beds and pizza!
    What a perfect day...
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  • Day5

    Three Chateaux in another region of Bordeaux. All really good wines. La Dominique has a new winery in various shades of red lacquered stainless steel. They are in a prestigious area, with two neighbors being Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Petrus. The latter is said to be the second most expensive wine. The former is none to shabby, either.

  • Day13

    Bordeaux wine tour

    August 4, 2017 in France

    We had time to kill before we needed to board the van that would take us out to the vineyards, so we hopped back on the bikes and rode up to a lake on the north end of Bordeaux and had lunch.

    Once it was time, we hopped on the bus and started the 45 minute drive out to Château de La Dauphine. Our driver and guide was impressively knowledgeable, so the drive itself was enjoyable and we learned a fair bit about the land, local winemakers, and business.

    At the Château/vineyard, we got to see the Château itself, which was a very old building that had been abandoned/looted and then restored by the previous owner. We walked over to a plot of the actual vines, and learned about the upkeep, growth, and harvest. This year many vineyards lost a sufficient portion of their yield due two days of frost, but the place we were touring only lost about 10%. Since then, the weather has been great, hot and dry (the vines should struggle for water), so it's looking like it'll be a good year if things continue for the next two months until it is time for harvest. They only have 10 people working the several hundred acre land year round, with another 50 seasonal workers for a three week harvest. They run an organic operation, so they're constantly on the lookout for disease or bug infestations to contain and prevent further spread.

    From there we moved on to where they press and ferment. They have a state of the art gravity fed system, which is very atypical for the region. They explained how the seeds and skins rise to the top, and they run the juice through it twice a day for ~three weeks, giving the wine it's color and tannins.

    Then we saw the barrel storage area, and learned about the different barrel vendors and toasting levels that are used.

    At the end of the process, they end up with 100,000 of their 'first wine' - the one they get to name after their Château, and another 50,000 of their 'second wine'.

    We finished off the tour with a game of trying to guess several vials of different extracts by smell. The correct answers were Strawberry, Smoke, Vanilla, and Cherry. We got two of four right (way off on Cherry, but super close on smoke -- we thought it was either smoke or tobacco). They served us a glass of their second and first wine, imparting the methods of viewing, nosing, and tasting them.

    We hopped back in the van and role to another, more modest Château. We tasted the grapes there, had another few glasses as well as some bread/cheese/meat/chocolate.

    Finally, we took a short trip to the nearby town of St. Emillion, named after a hermit monk and walked through the cathedral and town. The cobblestones were a bit treacherous after the wine, but we both made it without any new cuts or bruises.
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  • Day420

    Wine time! Headed off to the east of Bordeaux, where one of France's most famous wine regions is located. Bordeaux itself produces a huge percentage of French wine, but one of the most prestigious comes from the Saint-Emilion valley. It's been produced for centuries, and is apparently really good because of the limestone soil that keeps the moisture consistent between seasons and years, while the caves are great for keeping things at consistent temperatures.

    So we drove into town, parked up and had a wander. It's quite a pleasant little spot, though obviously a bit touristy. Nice buildings, and a unique underground church, plus vineyards on the horizon everywhere you looked. We did a spot of wine tasting in an underground cellar, though it cost 5 euros each for just two wines and we both thought the pours were quite stingy. Oh well!

    Had to solve our issues with lunch, where we had a typical lunch menu. Salmon and goat's cheese terrine for starter, then a steak with fries for main followed by a coffee. Very tasty and filling!

    After lunch we hopped in the car and drove around the local area, looking at all the various chateaux. There's some 800 separate producers in the region, the largest at several hundred hectares of vines, while the smallest has just over one hectare. Unfortunately the early spring meant the vines weren't flowering yet, everything still looked dead and barren though there were green shoots here and there. It must be really nice in summertime!

    Eventually we finished filming and headed back home to Bordeaux.
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  • Day8

    Libourne, France

    May 4 in France

    Libourne, an adorable little town founded in 1270. It was market day so that is always a plus with the bustle of locals. A lovely gothic cathedral, St. Jean Baptist, the Musee des Beaux-Arts which is free to the public in the Hotel De Ville. All of this time, I thought that the hotel de ville was a real hotel and seeing this name over and over again was confusing. THEN I found out that hotel de ville translates to Town Hall, derp.Read more

  • Day152

    Saint Emillion- Wine Country!

    August 20, 2015 in France

    Following our airbnb hosts recommendation we head to Saint Emilion to visit the "chateaus" for some wine tasting. When he first explained it he said the chateaus are castles, where you can go for tours.. our response was not very enthusiastic until we realised that they are actually wineries that take you for a tour of their estate and end with a wine tasting- we're in!

    The wine tasting in the area is quite different to what we are used to: you need to make an appointment to go. First stop we head to Saint Emilion town centre which we discover is a beautiful little historic town. Next we head to one of the chateaus of the day, Chateau Bernateou- a family run business that has been handed down 8 generations, they produce only 100,000 bottles of wine each year. We get a very personalised and detailed tour of the winery, including the vineyards, hoppers and barrels. We are impressed by the level of detail that goes into the wine making- they use an optical sorter to check every single grape! The wines are delicious so we pick up a few bottles for our picnic lunch and Deb orders a case to ship home.

    Next stop a fancy looking winery with the prestigious "Grand Cru Classic" classification for their wines. We actually weren't that impressed by the wines (and at 10euro each for the tasting it was a bit steep) but their estate is gorgeous, sat on top of a hill overlooking the entire region and complete with fancy looking castle, so was definitely worth the visit.

    Back to Bordeaux for dinner and a walk down the riverside.. there are people everywhere still at 11pm, just wandering around, chatting and dancing! Got to love the lifestyle here :-)
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  • Day128

    St. Emilion, wine country

    October 11, 2017 in France

    It is here that we really had a taster of what we were looking forward to in France - spending a few days getting to meet the locals on their own 'turf' and tasting wine!

    We couldn't have chosen a better place to stay, at Chateau Arnaud de Jacqueameau, owned by the Dupuy family who have been growing grapes and making St. Emilion Grand Cru for five generations.

    The family graciously allowed us to stay on their land, free of charge, in a designated spot in the middle of the vines, for 3 nights. This gave us time to visit the town of St. Emilion, just 1.5km away, as well as having a private tour and tasting by Mr. Dupuy senior who, at 83-years old, spent two hours showing us how he produced his wine and how best to taste it - all in Franglais!

    Whilst in St. Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we were able to enjoy the beauty of the village from the various viewpoints and then had a tour of the monolithic 'underground' church in the centre of the village. It is believed by many that the hermit Emilion lived in a cave, where the church now stands, for 17 years. The church, which is massive, was excavated over a period of 50 years and carved out of solid limestone. It is effectively underground, with the bell-tower the only part that stands proud for all the visiting pilgrims to see from afar. It is a wonderful area, steeped in history and one that we look forward to returning to.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Libourne

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