St Emilion (Gironde), France – August 2020 (Tour 3)

No surprise that we should end up near Bordeaux in the small village of Saint Emilion given Vanya’s thirst for Cremant! Actually, they don’t do Cremant in St Emilion (just very good red wine) and we are here upon the recommendation of a friend.

It took little more than an hour to drive to St Emilion from Bergerac and we arrived early enough to check into a very nice campsite (Vanya’s not quite ready for wild camps yet) and do a little wine tasting at the Chateau Champion – 5 reds and 1 rose. We came away with 3 bottles of red (mine, all mine) and a case of rose (Vanya is getting too much into this wine tasting game!).

Our campsite was great. It offered all that you would expect in this part of the world, including a private swimming lake for the dogs. The restaurant was fine although, by choosing to dine outside, we found ourselves far too close to a karaoke evening for my liking. No, all in all you couldn’t knock the campsite – it even provided a frequent shuttle service into Saint Emilion.

The village itself is well preserved and beautiful. It is not very big which makes getting around it all very easy although there are a few ups and downs amongst the small winding streets and almost all of the streets are cobbled. I am advised it is the British who should be thanked for the cobbled streets. They have long liked the local wines and used to send boats laden with cobbled stones (used as ballast) and upon arrival in St Emilion the locals would substitute the stones with wine and use the cobbles to line the streets. Now you know.

There were a great many tourists about during our visit but during the summer months that is to be expected; the place is UNESCO listed and adjudged a “plus beau village de France”.

This whole area is all about wine and, unsurprisingly, the village is overflowing with wine shops and restaurants. There are a few other things to see (the church and its catacombs, the cloisters and the bell tower) and in this regard it is worth buying a ticket (2 Euros) from the local tourist office to go up the bell tower for the panoramic views. It is also worth taking time to walk the perimeter of the village for some fine views (usually of vineyards) but it is the town’s medieval limestone buildings, which seem almost honey coloured, that do the most for me and make the best photos.

You don’t need to spend long in Saint Emilion but it is good for a wander and a glass of wine and we enjoyed doing just that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *