Saint-Emilion and Libourne
Fronsac, Lalande-de-Pomerol, Lussac Saint –Emillion, Montagne-Saint-Emillion, Pomerol, Puisseguin-Saint-Emillion, Saint-Emillion, Saint-Emillion Grand Cru, Saint-Georges-Saint Emillion.
Wines from the Saint-Emilion Region are coveted worldwide and there are more than one thousand wine producers in the Libournais area alone. Saint-Emilion and Libourne on the north side of the Dordogne are the two major wine towns which are a must on your wine tour. The medieval village of Saint-Emilion, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the most beautiful wine producing villages in all of France. As a medieval village it is exceptional not only for its historic value but also for its excellent wine-growing 'terroir' or land. There are more than 800 winegrowers in this AOC area which has given the village the name 'the hill with a thousand chateaux'. Four types of soil give the Saint-Emilion wines a variety of profiles. Merlot (60% of vines planted) and Cabernet Franc (30% of vines planted) create exceptional quality wines described as 'generous, warm, full- bodied and intensely crimson-coloured'. These wines should be aged at least five years but many will last for decades. The Merlots in particular reach exceptional heights and you will find some of the best Grand Crus here (Chateaux Ausone, Cheval Blanc).
Less well known but another great discovery is the Appellation of Montagne-Saint-Emilion AOC. The village of Montage-Saint-Emilion is worth a visit as well for more evidence of the Roman years. Bordeaux considers this Appellation a rising star!
Around the town of Libourne in the Libournais region discover yet another treasure trove of exceptional vines. These wines can be enjoyed very young or left to develop their bouquets with hints of roses and almonds. For example, looking back on Libourne is the Pomerol Appellation, home to the world’s most elite Merlot-based wine and an area first developed by the Romans. The most superb wine of the Pomerol is Petrus, dubbed 'the icon of elite winemaking'. If the 1000 € plus bottle is not on your shopping list, just claim that your pallet is not quite yet there to appreciate the complex subtlety of this giant and you would prefer to sample a regional Pomerol for pure delight! You’ll probably take a case or two home with you.
Saint-Georges Saint Emilion AOC is the smallest Appellation in Bordeaux and less well known but an exceptional find with Merlot grapes again dominating followed by Cabernet Franc.
With an abundance of superb wines at appealing values plus delightful restaurants, châteaux hotels and fine small hotels in the area, the Saint-Emilion and Libourne Region might well take up your entire vacation!