When Dan and I arrived in Bordeauxfor a long weekend, we ended up with about an hour to kill before meeting our Airbnb host in the Saint-Michel neighborhood. Bordeaux’s Saint-Michel neighborhood is located just south of the main tourist area. Saint-Michel is beautiful, charming and eclectic part of Bordeaux, with, in addition to French, a mix of Middle Eastern, North African and Latin influence.
After disembarking the tram at the Porte Bourgogne stop, we walked up and down Cours Victor Hugo in search of a sit down restaurant that could accommodate our luggage. As a side note, I LOVE planning meals and not having a set place to go with good reviews was really stressing me out! After passing many, many take out Turkish restaurants we stumbled upon Los Dos Hermanos, what appeared to be a Spanish restaurant with a hand written menu and outdoor seating that would accommodate our luggage – sold.
Médoc is one of the most famous Bordeaux wine regions, possibly only second in fame to St. Émilion. Médoc is located northwest of Bordeaux, on the left bank of the Gironde River, and Médoc is further separated into many sub regions (it gets very technical)! In short (you could talk about this forever), each sub region has a specific terroir – a French word describing the air, sun, rain, soil, etc. in that specific region that gives grapes grown there a particular taste. On our visit, we visited two châteaux, one in the Listrac-Médoc and one in Margaux. Both châteauxs specialized in bold red wines, with lots of cabernet sauvignon grapes!
La Cité du Vin opened on June 1, 2016 and I visited a few short weeks thereafter after drooling over Bordeaux’s “wine amusement park” on Condé Nast Traveler! Not quite an amusement park in the traditional sense, La Cité du Vin is a wine museum dedicated to the history of wine and the wine cultures of the world. And it was plain amazing!! Per la Cité du Vin’s own website, the wine museum’s mission is to “promote and share the cultural, universal and living heritage that is wine with the broadest possible audience,” with a focus on emotions, sensations and imagination, and the museum certain did a good job of that! We allotted about 3 hours for the museum and lunch and could have spent so much longer (and everything wasn’t even open yet since the museum had just opened)! Plan accordingly!
Dan and I visited the city of Bordeaux and its surrounding wine regions in June 2016. For those unfamiliar with Bordeaux wine, there are no actual vineyards in the city of Bordeaux (it is a regular city with a large university). The famous “Bordeaux wine” comes from a number of small regions surrounding Bordeaux. Wines take their name from the specific small region in which their grapes are grown, and the flavor of grapes that make up the wine derives from the “terroir” of each specific area (roughly translated as a combination of the soil content, temperature, rain fall, sunlight, etc. of the individual region). See the map of the many wine regions and sub-regions surrounding Bordeaux: