A “Grape” Place to Taste the Good Life
Bordeaux, on the banks of the Garonne River and the capital of the Aquitaine region of France, is world famous by its name alone. Synonymous with wine, this is one of the major wine producing regions in France. Bordeaux is also one of its great cities, just 3.5 hours from Paris on the high speed TGV.
The Aquataine region has been growing wine since the 8th century. Bordeaux has nearly 300,000 acres of vineyards, including 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers. This all adds up to an annual production of approximately 850 million bottles – spanning your average table wine to some of the world’s most expensive wines in the world. The city is also home to Vinexpo, where the wine community comes to swish and spit the latest vintages.
Want to do more than taste wine (at least for a little while?) The city has nine public museums including the Museum of Fine Art, one of the largest art galleries in France outside Paris and includes works by Delacroix, Rubens, Renoir and Picasso.
Bordeaux is a UNESCO Heritage site, for it’s “outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century. You can view this display in the city’s beautiful squares, including its most breathtaking – the Place de la Bourse.
Take a car-free stroll down the Rue Sainte-Catherine, considered the longest pedestrian-only street in Europe. Charm abound, stop at an outdoor café for a glass of premier cru (try a red from Mouton-Rothchild – that’s the good stuff) and people watch. Taste the crisp, fruity flavors with a touch of licorice. It will warm your soul like the Aquitaine sun.
Decidedly controversial, yet to some – deliciously divine, the Aquitaine region is famous for its foie gras. Head to the Marché Capuçins, located on the Cours de la Marne, close to Bordeaux St Jean train station for a taste of the local fatty duck liver. For something sweet, try Cannelés - tiny round cakes soaked in rum.
Bordeaux is just the beginning of your journey into France with a France Rail Pass. In just two hours, be in Limoges, home to its eponymous porcelain. Have cassoulet in Toulouse, France’s Ville Rose, or “Pink City” thanks to its buildings covered in wide Roman bricks. In three hours be in Lourdes, sight of Mary and miracles. With a Eurail France-Spain Pass, you can go from to Allez to Ole in just a few hours.
Bordeaux – a “grape” city in France that can get you to a “bunch” of other places too. This is the sweet taste of train travel.
To learn more about preparing your trip to France, visit Atout France by clicking here if you’re a US resident or here if you’re a Canadian resident
Contributed by: Justin, Call Center Supervisor, Lived in London for a summer during college.