Saint-Émilion is, without exaggeration, a winemaking paradise for me. Whenever I have vineyards near my travels, I try to visit them. And after many, many visits, I dare say that Saint-Émilion is the most beautiful place in France associated with wine for me. Winemaking here has a long tradition, the Romans founded the first vineyards here in the 2nd century AD. Together with the adjacent Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves, it belongs to the main areas of red wine production in the Bordeaux region. The predominant varieties are Merlot (60 – 70%), Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Thanks to its long history and well-preserved buildings, the village was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. Saint-Émilion is visited by an incredible million people every year, so the place can be quite crowded. I planned my visit for the beginning of July 2021, at the height of the tourist season, and even then the stay was very pleasant.
The main attraction is the vineyards, and in the village, you can visit the second-largest monolithic church in the world, various chapels, a monastery, numerous churches, and even catacombs. All this in a place where just a few steps away from you, excellent wine is maturing. In the hot summer, there is the option to go down to the cool cellars and walk through them, some can be visited for free.
A tourist train runs through the village and the adjacent vineyards, stopping at beautiful places, and of course, there are tastings of local wines at the stops. It is clear that they count on tourism here to the maximum, there is a large tourist center in the village, where the staff willingly advises how to get the most out of the visit.
Unfortunately, tours in English often take place at the same time, so it is not possible to manage more events in one day. However, Saint-Émilion is such a beautiful place that a one-day visit is too short. I also extended my stay here by two days, which still went by incredibly quickly.
While walking through the steep streets, one can only admire the beauty all around. And when tired, you can rest in one of the many wine bars or restaurants serving French cuisine.
Saint-Émilion is just a stone’s throw from Bordeaux, only 35 kilometers away, and is easily accessible by a direct train connection that runs several times a day. A one-way ticket purchased on the day of travel costs 9.60 EUR.
Enjoy your nice trip!
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