Discover Saint-Emilion Wines on French Canal Holidays
Enjoy one of the French canal holidays in the Bordeaux region and visit Saint-Emilion. There is more to this world famous wine village than meets the eye.
One of the little gems in this Bordeaux region is the charming wine village of Saint-Emilion. World famous today, this village has been producing wine for hundreds of years. Harmoniously combining endless vineyards, wonderful medieval architecture and beautiful monuments, Saint-Emilion is a fine example of how men and wine have been making history for centuries.
The Birth of Saint-Emilion
The story of how this charming village came about is regarded as a legend, but it’s a lovely story none the less. In the 8th century, a monk named Emilion fled from Vannes in Brittany, where he lived, and decided to hide out in one of the caves in the village, which was then known as Ascum bas. A solitary hermit he might have been, but he was also very famous in the local area for his ability to perform miracles. His following increased and with his disciples he turned the village into a religious centre. His legacy was so engrained that even when he died, the place retained its religious accolade, with the villagers renaming the town “Saint–Emilion” in the monk’s honour.
Over the years the village was developed architecturally, and today there are 200km of underground galleries beneath the village and the vineyard. In 1999, the vineyard here was the first in the world to be named on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a UNESCO Cultural Landscape.
French canal holidays in the region offer the opportunity to indulge in delicious local wines, and none is more famous than that of Saint-Emilion. The wines here are diverse thanks to the varied geography and soils, as well as the ideal microclimate it experiences. Combined with the perfect natural winemaking conditions is the expertise of the winemakers, who have learnt to work with their land for centuries to get the best out of every vine. There is such a huge range of wine maturity and flavours that come from the different blends of grapes, and this is testament to the skill of the winemakers.
The success of the Saint-Emilion wine is also partly attributed to the hard work of the Jurade, which is a wine brotherhood founded in 1199. Despite its authority coming under scrutiny in 1789, the Jurade was re-established in 1948. It is now very active in wine promotion and the organisation of the ‘Ban des Vendages’ - the festival that celebrates the beginning of the grape harvest.
On French canal holidays you will have the chance to taste the Saint-Emilion wines on-board the barge, in wine tasting sessions, and in local bars and restaurants. Now you can drink it and appreciate a little of its history too!
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