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Bordeaux Travel

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Mike Filigenzi

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Bordeaux Travel

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu May 26, 2016 4:33 pm

Hi all -

A good friend of mine will be taking a cruise through Bordeaux. Can anyone recommend wineries that are good to visit? These folks are not huge wine geeks, but they do drink some seriously good stuff and know quality when they get it. I'm not completely sure on this but I don't think either of them speak much French.

Thanks very much for any help.
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Hoke

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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Hoke » Thu May 26, 2016 8:14 pm

Peter May just posted something recently about a river cruise they were on where they stopped at Chateau Sauriac in Lalande de Pomerol.

There is an abundance of wine cruise/wine tour possibilities for all different levels. Here's one website http://bordeaux-river-cruise.com/8-wine-cruise

There's a great all-in-one stop along the Gironde close by to St. Emilion, literally right off the autoroute just out of Bordeaux, Planete Bordeaux. One building, large, with all sorts of entertaining diorams-style maps and sensory smellavision displays and such, and o largest retail wine selections you'll ever see, with wines all available at chateau tasting room prices...but it covers the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur appellations. (Which means the prices won't make them gasp.)

Plus they can hire a cab/day excursion for full or half day and set their own agenda. If they want colorful and quaint and total romantic wine experience? St. Emilion, without a doubt. Beautiful hilltop town, plenty of wine tasting opps, colorful as hell.

That should give you some ideas.
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri May 27, 2016 2:10 am

Thanks, Hoke - I'll pass that along.

(Wish I were going on this!)
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Dale Williams » Fri May 27, 2016 9:54 am

I've been at my job for 25 years, and some board members and supporters surprised me by giving Betsy and me a Viking river cruise in Bordeaux for Nov/Dec. There are plenty of winery visits (but most are unspecified, except dinner at Kirwan) as well as lectures. I'm kind of guessing some of this will be on level of "on the left bank dominant grape is Cabernet Sauvignon" spiels. I'm seeing an ITB friend this weekend who has extensive experience in Bordeaux and asking for some suggestions. Figure at least one day we might rent a car and do a more geeky visit. Friends who went on Danube cruise said no problem doing your own thing, as long as you are clear on sailing time.
I'll pass along Mark's suggestions. I know one suggestion will be Ch. Corbin, Annabelle Cruze Bardinet is a friend of his (and a lovely lady who speaks English). Unlike Napa generally need appts I believe.
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri May 27, 2016 10:28 am

Thanks, Dale - I'll let them know about Corbin.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Brian K Miller » Fri May 27, 2016 12:22 pm

How are the secondary roads in Bordeaux, folks? Traffic clogged by trucks barreling down narrow hedgerowed lanes, or quiet and decent side roads with little real traffic?

Thinking about a bicycle tour on my "bucket list".
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Peter May » Fri May 27, 2016 12:23 pm

Mike

I've been on 5 Viking River Cruises, including Bordeaux which is the best for wine lovers but the least interesting for cruising.

As all the cruise lines follow the same routes: which wineries are visited depends on which cruise line your friends are booked on.

I have visited a great number of wineries on several continents and I thought Viking did a excellent job taking us around different appellations. This was very much a wine lovers trip, the only Viking boat to have their own on board sommelier and different wines served each day to match the appellation the boat was in.

If your friends are on Viking I can tell which wineries we visited; if another line then their marketing material should tell what is included and what is optional.

If your friends are not great wine geeks then I seriously think that the cruise will take them to enough wineries and give them enough tastings and information to make any additional private visits unnecessary.

If their cruise moors at Bordeaux on a Sunday (ours started on Sunday) there is a farners market on the dockside with - when I was there - three small wineries represented where you could talk to the owner and winemaker, sample and taste their wines. On Viking you can bring wines you bought on board and have them with lunch/dinner no corkage - which is what we did.

We though dinner at Ch Kirwan (3rd Growth Margaux) with the owner and unlimited wines a real highlight, and also the visit to Ch Giscours (3rd Growth Margaux).

If your friends want more and they have free time the easiest is to arrange a trip via the Bordeaux tourist office; they can book when they arrive or get the tour director on board the boat to make the booking. I was going to, but decided not to as there was enough on the cruise.

If they want to get into 1st growths I can give them the name of a private tour guide with access
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Peter May » Fri May 27, 2016 1:41 pm

Also on 1 June 2016 the new wine attraction Cite du Vin will open in Bordeaux - http://www.laciteduvin.com/en

Very little info about it so far, but an initial report on another forum is very promising
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun May 29, 2016 3:38 pm

Thanks so much Peter! They left on Friday, but I'll email your suggestions in case they're checking. Sounds like you've had some great experiences.
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by JC (NC) » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:33 pm

I have an upcoming tour in Bordeaux which includes a visit to Lynch Bages. I expect someone there speaks a bit of English and I know a bit of French (but our guide is from Provence so he can also interpret.)
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Re: Bordeaux Travel

by Tim York » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:08 am

The last time I visited Bordeaux was in 1997 so I have no up to date tips to communicate. I spent quite a lot of time there on professional visits in the 60s and have always liked the city which is one of the most gracious and best laid out in France. The Bordelais have a the reputation in France of being rather cold and reserved but I never found it so, though perhaps being British I am inoculated against feeling that. English was widely spoken in Bordeaux even then and I expect even more so now. I guess that there is no shortage of English speakers in all the major châteaux. Reports say that Bordeaux city has been very well modernised under mayor Alain Juppé making it even more attractive to visitors than it was.
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