St Emilion Wine Comes From A Renowned Region


by Patrice McCoy


Celebrated St Emilion wine is produced in the most ancient wineries of Bordeaux. It is one variety produced in this region renowned for its superior wines. However, this location has its own value as recognized by a UNESCO listing.

Historically its linage is prehistoric. The appellations are named after a town in the Gironde department of Aquitaine in southwest France. Roman era ruins and churches stretch across its slender and precipitous streets. The unexpected large scale and beauty of the parish church will surprise visitors. Built on a massive scale, this is the most immense European troglodyte basilica. Carved from local substratum over a thousand years ago, the carvings and frescoes are magnificent.

The municipality bears the name of an itinerant monk who settled in the 8th Century at this location. He was a mobile confessor who settled in a hermitage carved into a cave. It is 20 miles interior from the coast and Bordeaux city. Perched on a hilltop the medieval setting is an enchanting backdrop.

The vineyards historic lineage goes to the 2nd century when originally planted by Romans. Monks who came after the Saint whose moniker the town bears were the ones who began commercial winemaking. The product is a robust one, which in this corner of France has no peer in its potency. The wines reach maturity more quickly than other regional appellations as well.

The select area is adjunct to Pomerol and not as large as the Medoc. Similar to the Pomerol and other appellations from the right side of the Gironde, the main grapes used are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A few chateaux also use some Cabernet Sauvignon. First formal classification was made in 1955, and despite the lineage, not in the 1855 classification of regional varieties.

Soil here is clearly visible to the naked eye. Many of the best vineyards are located on eastern side of plateau rich in limestone soil. The slopes around are of limestone and clay. It is divided into two sections. St Martin plateau lies on the west. Here are many of the leading wineries dotted around the town. St Christophe plateau is on the eastern side. Soils remains favorable, but the estates are less prestigious.

The largest city in this region is a showpiece with 18th Century mansions and well appointed private houses. A splendid opera house, boutiques and numerous bars provide the young and sociable with opportunities to mingle in sophisticated urban surroundings. Besides Paris, here are located the most well stocked vintners in the country. For buffs of the local product, this is an ideal place for beginning explorations of the surrounding vineyards.

Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are the only two St Emilion wine appellations in the top class. Thirteen have been awarded the next categorization and fifty three are in the following category. A substantial representation is classified Grand Cru. There is opportunity for simply tasting these wines, if you desire to just learn about them. Wineries are welcome and introduces visitors to their wines. Vineyards can be identified with the assistance of the information office in the city. Maps with listed telephone numbers provide all the information you need to begin your exploration. Tours may also be arranged through travel agents. A quicker venue is the Ecole du Vin operated by the information office that offers a weekend course. The price is reasonable. It also provides 2 hour tasting sessions.




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