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Traveling to Bordeaux and Tasting the Wines of France

Updated on July 11, 2023
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna loves to travel and share cool places to visit so others can have a wonderful, if not better, time than she did.


“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”

— Ernest Hemingway

The Wine Bible

Before I headed to France to sip the wine, I picked up my copy of The Wine Bible and read about French wine. The book is a wine bible offering vital information about all vineyards in the world. It is a helpful reference for anyone beginning their wine journey in France or ready to take the next step in learning about wine. The writing is easy to read with a good approach. Reading the book, I compared the differences between Bordeaux, cabernet franc, and Merlot. Nothing is like visiting France and experiencing the wines in person with a French winemaker.

French Wine

Romans brought wine to Bordeaux. The wines have benefited from a favorable reputation. Today Bordeaux yields more wine compared to any other area in the world. From its sweeping 247,000 acres of vineyards, the area yields about one-quarter of France's entire wine production. Seventy-five percent is red.


Bordeaux is a place where wine lovers from all walks of life travel to experience the delicacy of French wine. Not only does the wine draw visitors, but travelers cherish the variegated landscape rich with forests, rivers, and streams flowing back and forth with endless vineyards. It can’t go without mentioning the quaint villages, friendly people, and flavorful yet relaxing cuisine. But still, the one and the only reason to visit Bordeaux is its notable red and white wines, particularly the reds.

Each Bordeaux wine individually stands out and is designed in detail by the distinct impression of the estate owner or master winemaker. The grape varieties grown in the area develop well-defined wines with exceptional aroma, flavor, and color qualities.


Romans brought wine to Bordeaux. Centuries later, the wines have benefited from a favorable reputation. Today Bordeaux yields more wine compared to any other area in the world.

Red Wines

Every Bordeaux wine on its own merits stands out and is calculated in detail by the impression of the estate owner or master winemaker. The grape varieties grown in the area develop unique qualities in aroma, flavor, and color.

The wine's elegant colors and fruity aromas hide their robust flavors with tannins of the reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot with a touch of Carmenère and Malbec. Sipping a Merlot from Bordeaux, I smile and fall in love with the feminine and sensual character. My husband sips the Cabernet Sauvignon. He takes a moment to speak tenderly to me about the intensity and prevailing tannic in the young wines. The remainder of the reds follows subtle combinations with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, imparting suppleness, structure or elegance. The amounts of varieties vary from the dominant status of each wine. It also relates to the year it harvested and the discernment of each winemaker.

Within an hour’s drive, you can visit several vineyards. Here are a few desired wine routes to please your palate.

Bordeaux, France

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White Wines

The Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon are the leading white varietals. The Sauvignon aroma imbues a trace of citrus and exotic fruits with the possible blackcurrant blossom, boxwood, or white flowers. The Semillon aromas are not as powerful with touches of almond, hazelnut, and prunes.

Most of the wine in Bordeaux flourishes on individual properties on a small scale -- drawing its popularity of the distinct flair for each bottle. By tradition, with at least 12,000 winemakers in the area, creating different wines, and depending on your taste, you can intermingle a glass of wine with history, beaches, and strolls or delicious food.


"In wine, there's truth."

— Pliny the Elder, "Natural History"

History of Bordeaux

Within an hour’s drive, you can visit several vineyards. Here are a few choice wine routes to please your palate.

East of Bordeaux is perfect for history enthusiasts as they discover the Bastide de Monsegue or de Sauveterre de Guyenne with medieval surroundings among the vines. The journey starts and finishes with the Côtes de Bordeaux and the picturesque Château de Cadillac, along with the Citadelle de Blayeor and a light lunch in Bouliac. You can visit the Abbaye de la Sauve—drunk in history. Of Course, the wines are everywhere with a promising visit at the châteaux.

The Fortified Towns Road leads to the largest wine-growing region in Bordeaux. The area allows visitors to stroll through history by exploring fortified towns like Sauveterre and Creon. Even abbeys like La Sauve Majeure inspire visitors to become history buffs. The wine-growing region called Entre-Deux-Mers means accurately “between two seas” due to the two rivers (Dordogne and Garonne) outlining the area. In this region, you bring a glass of wine to your lips and sip fruity, spirited reds, clarets and rosés, and a wide variety of sweet, crisp whites.

Wine in Bordeaux comes from individual properties on a small scale—drawing its popularity of the distinct individual for each bottle.


“If we sip the wine, we find dreams coming upon us out of the imminent night”

— D. H. Lawrence

French Countryside Vacation

After touring Bordeaux, my memories will never forget the true beauty of French wine or the landscape of rivers and streams intertwining forests and vineyards. The relaxing meals with friendly people in a picturesque countryside frame my visit as forever remarkably unique. The unrivaled memory I will always treasure is Bordeaux’s famous wines -- in particular the reds.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Kenna McHugh


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