Bordeaux and Wine
By Jessica Ramírez |
Bordeaux is one of wine-lovers’ favorite destinations, a city that’s rich in history and the place where canelés were created.
It’s one of wine lovers’ favorite destinations, a region whose vine has given the world some of the most exquisite and coveted wine labels that pair banquets and are enjoyed glass after glass. It’s a place of golden stone that reflects the romantic environment of French cities and whose rich history, represented by its monuments, transports you inevitably to its time of splendor in the 18th century. We’re talking about Bordeaux.
There was a time when travelers associated this city only with its exclusive wines; that’s why it became known as the “Sleeping Beauty”. Nevertheless, the great efforts that have been made to promote its urban development have awaken this destination to the world and to the eyes of one of the most important international organizations, the UNESCO, which declared its Historic Center World Heritage in 2007.
WHAT TO SEE IN BORDEAUX
A place that you’ll surely recognize in your trip to Bordeaux is the Place de la Bourse, whose construction began in the 18th century and lasted 20 years. What makes it more special is that it represented the opening of the city walls thus changing the medieval urban structure that characterized it for centuries. Of course, when you stand in the middle of this huge rectangular square that’s framed by the Hôtel des Fermes and the Hôtel de la Bourse, you’ll have to use your wide-angle lens if you want to capture its immensity in a photograph.
After this view and in order to continue taking spectacular pictures, visit one of the most photographed places in the Bordeaux: the Esplanade des Quinconces and the Monument aux Girondins, an icon of the French Revolution, not of the popular soccer club, as one might think.
This 12-hectare square is the biggest in Europe, so it will take you several hours to cover the area, particularly if your visit coincides with one of the numerous artistic or sports events that are usually held there. If you like human studies, keep in mind that there you’ll find big statues of two famous philosophers: Montaigne and Montesquieu, and at the Monument aux Girondins apart from finding some bronze fountains you’ll discover a column with a statue of liberty on top that’s breaking its chains.
BORDEAUX WINE ENTHUSIASTS
You can continue the tour around other monuments that are also worth visiting including the Pey-Berland Tower, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the Cité Frugès and Château de la Brède. Also, you can visit gardens and castles such as the Château de Vayres or the Château de Cazeneuve. Apart from that, you can go to one of the eleven museums in Bordeaux that have exhibits of varied topics that go from fine arts to natural history. However, DINKtravelers recommends following the urban wine trail or the terroirs de Bordeaux trail.
For 49 euros, the innovating concept of the urban wine trail will take you on a half-day visit to a vineyard and winery, apart from giving you the chance to taste different wine varieties. On the other hand, the terroirs de Bordeaux trail will take you, for 38 euros, to mythic castles and vineyards in regions such as Sauternes and Saint-Emilion. Imagine the thrill you’ll get when you visit wine cellars that keep over 1,000 barrels of exquisite red!
After walking this city the only thing missing will be choosing the perfect souvenir among the many options you’ll find. You’ll have the chance to take home bottles of Bordeaux, accessories decorated with wine-related images or, of course, boxes of canelés, the traditional pastries created in Bordeaux.