Bordeaux was great!  We stayed at Villa St Simon, a B&B in Blaye (50km north of Bordeaux city). We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived, but quickly realized how lucky we were to find this B&B.  The villa itself has amazing wine to drink, tastings in the evenings, and outgoing owners that make sure you do fun stuff, feel comfortable, and learn about French wine.  I think we will visit Villa St Simon again, hopefully sooner rather than later!

We drank numerous bottles during our visit, and returned home with 10 bottles (which will hopefully make it back to Boston!).

Tasting room.

I spy Charles!

Villa St. Simon is close to the citadel of Blaye, designed by Vauban in the 1680s…

Charles strikes a pose before crossing the moat.

Buildings within the citadel.


Just south of Blaye is Bourg-sur-Gironde…we enjoyed wandering through this town’s streets, visiting the outdoor market, and eating oysters for lunch!

A foggy day in Bourg.

Wash house in Bourg.

A small outdoor market is held every Sunday in Bourg….


We have oysters from the market for lunch with our host Les (right) and another couple visiting Villa St Simon.

We return to Blaye after lunch, and enjoy the clear skies….

Where is the fog?

After a bottle of wine, I felt like sitting in this boat was the right thing to do.

On our final day, we visited Chateau Rousselle, a 57-acre vineyard in Bourg.  We learned a lot about wine from our host Les and the vineyard’s owner Vincent.

Vineyard, with beautiful fall colors.

Les tells us about the chateau's cement tanks.

Vincent tells us about his wine...

....and we listen!

Before catching our train home, we spend a few hours in the city of Bordeaux…

A panoramic view of the Girondins monument (taken with photosynth).

Inside Cathédrale Saint-André.

Charles walks on water.

View of Garonne river.

I will leave you with this homework reading list!:

Les' book recommendations.

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3 thoughts on “Bordeaux

  1. Jack says:

    I’m happy you had such a good time in Bordeaux. The Bordeaux wine scene has scared me off. Their’s the wine futures thing, the price of 1st and 2nd growths skyrocketing in the 1990s,and Robert Parker. He is single handedly destroying the traditions of wine making in Bordeaux and else ware with his 100 point publication. He fancy’s over ripe, high alcohol, big wines that show well in a wine tasting but have little to do with complementing the regional cuisine. Too many producers now craft their wines for his pallet and his high rating. Two prominent importers Berkeley’s Kermit Lynch and Micheal Sullivan have bypassed Bordeaux in favor of Spain and Italy, It’s a shame because the first serious wine I tasted was a Bordeaux inspired California 1974 Cabernet from Robert Mondovi.So, I am very interested in hearing more of what you found. P.S.To the book list I would add Kermit Lynch’s “Along the Wine Route” and for cooking and paring french wines, Richard Olney’s “Ten Vineyard Lunches”.

  2. Beth says:

    Interesting you bring this up, our host Les told us that the wine from Cotes de Blaye is so affordable because it was one of the few areas in Bordeaux untouched by Robert Parker. We enjoyed a number of bottles from Blaye, all for under 20e, and thought they were very good. We are bringing some back with us, so if you visit us in Boston you can have some with us :). Thanks for the book recommendations, this trip definitely made me want to learn more….

  3. Jack says:

    When you get time, could you pass on the names of the producer, and I will see if they are imported into the U.S. Again, we are so happy that you and Charles had this opportunity. I know that the time we spent in France was joyful, even euphoric! Someone once said that “When Americans die they go to Paris”. I’m so glad I had a glimpse, and shared a bit of it, with you!

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