Monday, July 18, 2011

Saint Emilion

Some time in the 8th century a guy left Brittany. Fed up with the rotten weather he wanted to become a hermit.  Over time he performed many miracles.  He turned kittens into cats, puppies into dogs and eventually grapes into wine. 

One of these miracles caught the attention of the Pope and the hermit became Saint Emilion and the wine, oh the wine, well lets just say it may not be a miracle but it's surely a gift from the gods.

Emilion had the wisdom to set up his hermitage on a limestone bluff surrounded by beautiful sun drenched valleys.  Poor soil, lots of sun, two of the keys to great wine.  Today Saint Emilion is a Unesco World Heritage site.

The wines of Saint Emilion represent some of the very best of Bordeaux.  Oddly, the day I choose to visit the sun took a vacation.  For my purpose it hardly mattered as I came for the wine and great food and fell head over heels for the charm of the village. 

At La Cote Braisee we had a fantastic lunch with perhaps the best table or house wine I've ever tasted. The restaurant, carved out of the limestone hill, is located on the steps half way between the upper town and the lower.  Most of these shops are located in caves from which limestone blocks were cut to build the village, the ramparts and the church.

If you should have the great fortune of washing up in Saint Emilion begin by visiting the tourist office.  They'll direct you to choice wineries either your own personal favourite or ones they'll recommend. Here's a link to more photos from my visit.

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