Blogs from Pauillac, Aquitaine, France, Europe


Europe » France » Aquitaine » Pauillac May 13th 2017

Geo: 45.1992, -0.748886The ship docked at Pauillac on the left bank of the Gironde and from here we had a short drive to St.Estephe passing by many famous vineyards and chateaus such as Lafitte Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild. This year there was an early spring followed by a frost and many of the grapes have been lost. We stopped at a family owned cooperage and saw a Cooper make one of the barrels from French Oak. I didn't think I would enjoy seeing this but in fact it was fascinating and worth seeing. He didn't speak a word of English so we had a little French girl from the ship doing the translating which was very amusing. It is a time consuming process and only between 2 and 5 barrels are made every day.After this demonstration ... read more
Barrel taking shape
Hammering down the rings
Vineyards with roses at the ends of rows

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Pauillac July 28th 2016

Geo: 45.1992, -0.748886Today we visited the Medoc, which is that part of the Bordeaux region west of the Dordogne River. We have learned that wines produced on the east bank are predominantly Merlot-based, as this grape does best in the clay soils on the east bank. On the other hand, Cabernet Sauvignon does better in the gravels in the Medoc, and Medoc wines are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. As we much prefer Cabernet over Merlot, we were keen to visit the Medoc.We started our visit to the area in the little town of Saint-Estephe. We sampled a few wines at the local Maison de Vin, and they suggested some wineries we could visit. We had a coffee in Saint-Estephe, and headed off for a tour and tasting at Chateau Le Crock. Unfortunately, this Chateau has seen ... read more
Jim & Sonya checking out the "Pigout" butcher
Coffee spot in St. Estephe
Our wine tasting in St. Estephe

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Pauillac June 9th 2014

We slept in to 8am today and went down for breakfast. We hung out this a.m. And had lunch on the top deck today. Our tour to the Medoc wine region left at 1pm and we headed off in the motor coach with our guide for the day, Priscilla. She explained to us that in the 1600's the French brought in Dutch engineers to drain what was the swamp of Medoc. Then in the 1700's they started to plant vines where the former swamp was. Medoc means the middle area between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary. This region receives no snow, lots of rain is humid. The wines made here are always blended. Today, most wineries are very large with several hectares each. They are mostly owned by corporations such as banks, insurance companies, ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Pauillac June 8th 2014

Today we started the day with a simple continental breakfast of mini croissants, mini sweet rolls, yogurt, orange juice and coffee. We met Jane and Bill in the hotel lobby at 11am and waited for our cab to arrive to meet Ward and Susan and at La Table du latoir bistro located at the Haut Smith Laffitte winery. The winery, boutique hotel, Caudalie spa and bistro are located about 35 minutes outside of Bordeaux. We arrived easily and early enough to wander about the centuries old property and take photos. We enjoyed a really great lunch with good food and especially wine with our friends. The reservations were at noon and we finally realized at 3pm that it was time for us to say farewell to this lovely property and depart. We had the hotel (small ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Pauillac July 30th 2012

We started with a quick run through a breakfast buffet and took a taxi to the train station, Gare Saint-Jean. Once we got the keys to the car we were directed to walk down the street until we found the Hertz sign. Well, that walk was a little further than I expected and the automatic "Ford Focus" was a standard transmission Opel (something or other...). Good thing I know how to change gears. Glenn navigated using a GPS and an iPad and both were useful at some point. City driving was OK, but some of the country roads are just wide enough for two lanes and not worthy of a line down the centre. I held on tight and got honked at once for hogging the road. The guide books mention that it is 50 km/h ... read more
Chateau Gruaud Larose
These ones are wooden.
While others are concrete.

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