Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bordeaux Fete Le Vin - 2016 - Celebrating the 10th Edition!

 Bordeaux Fete Le Vin - The Bordeaux Wine Festival
Happening this weekend - June 23-26, 2016
 Hello everyone - it's been a busy day and a beautiful one at that!  Yes, the blog is back and this post will share with you the first glimpses of the 10th edition of Bordeaux Fete le Vin - Bordeaux's historic wine festival.  It opened today along the Quais and there is so much to see and do, I know I won't be able to share it all - but it's going to be a great weekend!!

For those of you who live close by - it's a wonderful way to taste some of the regional wines, and learn about wine, and also enjoy what this region has to offer.   
 The festival itself is free and open to the public - It's beautiful to stroll along the key side of Bordeaux and check out all the different stands.  In order to taste some of the wines, one needs to buy the festival pass.  The pass this year is a key card and includes:  10 different regional tastings plus 2 extra as your favorites, a zen tasting experience, a wine school workshop and other experiences.  This pass is either purchased ahead or presently is available at the festival.  
As it was hot today, I did my first tasting at the Sweet Bordeaux stand where I was introduced to a lovely fresh tasting wine from Loupiac.  This right-bank sweet white was light and fresh, still having that wonderful sweeten light syrup taste but not too strong.  

What I loved about this tasting was that it was a great opportunity to enjoy a different sweet white - than the traditional Sauternes whites.  I'm looking forward to exploring and learning more about the appellations of Cadillac, Loupiac et Saint Croix du Mont - all right bank wines but still of the sweet variety and a great value for their cost.
 Each region surrounding Bordeaux has their stands and it's a wonderful opportunity to gain more knowledge about each region and also more specifically how the appellations (geographic designations) within each region differ.
 As this is the 10th anniversary of the Bordeaux Wine Festival - they have  several special pavilions for other cities connected to the wine festival.  This year there are pavilions for Hong Kong, Quebec and a stand for the network of the Great Wine Capitals of the world.  All have a wealth of information to share.
 Of course the Office of Tourism has their own stand with special merchandise for the festival.  
 The Belem is also in Bordeaux for the festival and can be toured for 5 euros/person.  This beautiful 3 masked tall sailing ship serves as a training yacht for sailors.  It's' been wonderfully restored and is a jewel sitting along the quais.  
The Festival is laid out along the Quais of Bordeaux in 3 villages.  Village 1 - sits between the Pont de Pierre & the Place de la Bourse and includes a few wine regions along with the stands of the quest cities and the Office of Tourism - just to name a few.
As one heads down the quais toward Village 2 - there is this colorful display of Bordeaux Wine posters each pairing wine with an activity.  Some very clever combinations - Music & wine, Beach & Wine - Seeing the Stars and wine...Well done!  (My middle daughter - decided to photo bomb my photos - so she proudly shares her favorites!)

On to Village 2 - where Bordeaux Wine school has set up a beautiful display and holds workshops educating people of tasting, smelling and understanding more about wine.  The pass includes one of these workshops which are provided each day during the festival.
Village 2 - of course houses more stands for different wine regions, but also introduces us to surrounding regions like - Limousin & Poitou-Charentes.  These departments are now part of the Nouvelle Aquitaine or - The New Aquitaine Region. These departments offer some wonderful products including delicious beef and Cognac.
By afternoon, the Medoc & Graves stand was starting to get busy.  Again one can find some delicious wines from Medoc, Haut Medoc and Pessac Leognan appellations & not just the wine properties from the 1855 Classification - There is so much to discover!!
Moving further along the quais are artist blocks commissioned by the Cultural Institute of Bernard Magrez.  This is a festival tradition where artists are invited from all over the world to paint or design a panel that is themed for the Wine Festival.  Each day different artists will come and work on their block.  On Sunday afternoon there will be a full display of all the completed works.
As you head further North on the Quais toward the Chartrons section of Bordeaux - you enter the final village - Village 3.  Again here one finds more wine stands plus a wonderful assortment of regional specialties including bread, Oysters, beef, and cheeses just to name a few.

 I love the following photo as the festival is dwarfed by the gigantic cruise ship Europa 2 which is in port for a few days.  
After our hot but breezy walk along the Key side, my daughter and I were hungry for lunch and chose to eat at La Ferrere - along the Quai des Chartron next to the Bourse Maritime.  This adorable little bistro/brassiere serves a fresh menu which changes daily depending on the chef.  I enjoyed a lovely buttina (frais mozzarella cheese) served with peppers and citrus.
My entree was then followed by a deliciously fresh and hearty salad of arugula, avocados, watermelon, strawberries served with a delicious piece of toast with coppa & cheese drizzled with a delicious pesto sauce.  A fresh and satisfying lunch.
 So I hope you enjoy the Bordeaux Fete le Vin - Bordeaux Wine Festival - it's definitely a festival to experience and one that is not easily forgotten,  This is the 3rd festival that I have experienced and each time I learn more and marvel in what a beautiful and wonderful region we have!

If you are interested in visiting Bordeaux and you love wine - this is one festival not to be missed.  The next one will be in 2018.  If you are curious about the 2014 festival - you can read more about it here - Bordeaux Fete le Vin - 2014.

Come and enjoy the 2 Km of Wine events, tastings and good times here in Bordeaux and of course, the new Cite du Vin - The famed International Wine Interpretation Center has just opened it's doors this month -and it's amazing!!  Just another reason to come visit!  Bon weekend everyone!!!  Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Springtime in Bordeaux & the Gironde - Everything is blooming!



It's April in the Gironde
Yes - it's amazing how when Spring arrives, everything comes back to life again.  This region definitely has it's seasons - the cloudy, rainy, gray Winter gave way to sunny, bright and warmer Spring days.  The blossoms are coming out on the trees and the blue skies are gorgeous!!

I hope you can appreciate the feeling of Spring in these photos - it's just rejuvenating!! We are not without a few Spring rain showers from time to time - but overall, it's truly Spring here as the flowers come bloom!
The other day, I had to go pick up something on the ship where I work, so my middle daughter got a mini tour of "the office".  She loved the view from the top deck and thought the passengers were really lucky to get to sail up and down the river for a week!
I just loved this view taken from on top of the steps of the Courthouse - looking toward the Cathedral.  The sunshine and the blue sky...just lovely!
Even outside the city, plants and trees are coming back to life after the Winter.  We've enjoyed walking around the Citadelle de Blaye and also the Portes Ouvertes weekend in the Medoc.  Below is Chateau LaMothe Bergeron.  A beautiful place and property which dates back to 1773.  Excellent wine too!!

We are presently enjoying our 2 week Spring break.  It's been nice to relax - stay home and do a little Spring cleaning and just enjoying the local area.  As long as the weather cooperates, we are off to get some Ocean air this weekend.  Looking forward to that too.  Hope everyone is enjoying this Spring too!



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