Tuesday, November 26, 2013

St Emilion, France

during my first trip in France, i was lucky enough to have my then-boyfriend-now-husband and my in-laws as tour guides. and since i told them that it was my life-long dream to visit a vineyard, they organized an educational tour for me to Saint Emilion, a famous and quite touristic village a few miles east of Bordeaux.

i remember being so excited riding the car on the way there. i can still remember being fascinated by the huge and smiley sunny sunflowers along the road. and you can imagine how thrilled i was at the first glimpse of the rows and rows of vineyards on the rolling hills.

once we were in the vicinity of the vines, it felt like going through a maze finding our way to Clos La Madeleine.

the entrance to the caves where the wines are casked and aged
here, we made a tour around the vineyard and also inside the distillery and into the cave on a guided tour about the process of wine-making.

here, the guide was explaining the process of distilling the wine.

inside the cave, it smelled a bit like Roquefort cheese. thankfully after that, we had a bit of wine tasting which made me forget about the smell of the cave. it amused me to be told that i could spit it out if i didn't like the taste, or did not wish to swallow the wine for some reason, like maybe if i'd tasted several already and didn't want to get drunk. :)


explaining the tastes and flavors of their products

it was such a lovely summer day and the vineyards looked surreal to me, having seen one right in front of me for the very first time in my life. i was quite disappointed, though, to find all the grapes still green. and that they were to be harvested end of summer. feeling famished after the vineyard tour, we headed into the village to have lunch.


look at that lovely restaurant on the left, completely covered in grapevine.
on the way to the restaurant, we passed by shops selling the region's and neighboring region's specialties.

canélés are a specialty in Bordeaux

the ancient white stone houses looked so beautiful to me. it made me feel like Juliette Binoche in Chocolat. :) everywhere you look is just unbelievably beautiful. too beautiful for words.


the village church

vines and stamps for sale


this is the restaurant where we had our lunch.


the entrance of the restaurant where we had lunch


lovely restaurant

we were seated at the lovely terasse at the back of the restaurant, where we enjoyed the our food and the wonderful summer ambiance in the shade of trees.

my favorite jambon and melons with some whipped cream and watermelon soup

France is all about wine and good food enjoyed in the company of well-loved family and friends. "enjoy" is the operative word here. french people love to enjoy things, and to experience the moment. as for me, the moment is not fully enjoyed or experienced unless i capture it in stills. and that's why we are now all enjoying the memories of this once "enjoyed" moment that i had in France. ;)


some pork for main dish, paired with Saint Emilion wine... not my lunch though. i had Confit de canard.

we resumed the walk around the village after lunch. and decided to climb uphill for a nice view of the whole village... unfortunately not at the top of this tall tower...



but here instead... ok, take a deep breath before scrolling down...

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2...

3...

postcard-perfect!
if this doesn't make you say "WooOOooooOOOow !!! ", i don't know what else will.


Saint Emilion was truly wonderful and unforgettable. but don't take my word for it. go and experience it for yourself. ;)

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