Bordeaux is More than Wine
Most people know Bordeaux as the esteemed wine region in France. However, many do not realize that Bordeaux city has nearly 4,500 acres declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Historic monuments such as the Pey-Berland Tower and Saint-André Cathedral reflect Neo-classic and Renaissance architecture. Only Paris has more historic monuments. With 18th-century buildings and a lively museum and art culture, Bordeaux is a city with more than a strong wine heritage. No wonder it is called “City of Art & History“.
Walk or Bike
Bordeaux is a 2,000 year-old port city. Visitors to the city also can enjoy a new, beautiful pedestrian-friendly waterfront. Crumbling warehouses and long-abandoned buildings have been replaced with fountains, parks and gardens.
A new electric tram system brings people to open spaces with walking trails, picnic areas and bicycling paths. There’s even a skateboard park. A former dilapidated warehouse, dating back centuries, now houses high-end boutiques.
Art buffs will want to visit Sainte-Croix Church, a former Benedictine abbey. It has a magnificent series of sculptures. Also, Bordeaux has 10 public gardens. Entry to seven of them is free with a Bordeaux Metropole CityPass. There are several parks including Park Bordelais, which is popular with joggers. The Natural History Museum is within the Jardin Public confines.
Some of the top tourist attractions include:
- The Grand Théâtre – Opera House
- Musée d’Aquataine – French History
- Capc Modern Art Museum – Modern & Contemporary
Foodies can stuff themselves with authentic cuisine. Many of the specialty dishes of France are from the Southwest, near Bordeaux. Restaurants offer the chance to indulge in local delicacies like foie gras, oysters, confit, pâté and Baza beef.
Also, Bordeaux is famous for its confectionery sweets such as canalés, as well as candies. After dinner, stop in a bar or nightclub and hang out with the locals. Perhaps instead, you can attend a performance at one of the theaters.
Of course, the prized wines of Bordeaux pair perfectly with their gourmet foods. The Romans are credited with the first vine plantings back in 56 B.C. But, the French took viticulture to a new level as evidenced by their world leadership as THE wine country to emulate. Some of the top wine-producing regions and their revered producers include:
- Pauillac is home to Premiers Crus labels Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Lafite Rothschild
- Margaux has second growth labels such as Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Chateau Durfort-Vivens and Chateau Rauzan-Ségla
- St.-Julien has Chateau Léoville-Barton, Chateau Lagrange, Chateau Talbot and Chateau Beychevelle
- Haut-Médoc producers include Chateau La Lagune, Chateau La Tour-Carnet and Chateau Belgrave
- St. Estèphe has second growth Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Montrose, as well as others like Chateau Lafon-Rochet and Chateau Cos-Labory
Even those visiting Bordeaux for reasons other than the wine will enjoy a wine country outing to St. Emilion. It’s another UNESCO World Heritage site with 13th century walls complete with moats, cobblestone streets and medieval churches.
If want to take a food and wine vacation through Bordeaux, join us on April 15, 2016.