As most of our readers are already aware, Texas Wine Lover recently won the Wine and Technology USA category as part of the Millesima International Wine Bloggers Contest. We were very excited not just for the win, but the grand prize for the six winners in three categories each won a trip to Bordeaux, France to participate in En Primeur week, which is a yearly preview to showcase the most current vintage of wine. In this case, the 2015 vintage was being tasted. There were six of us representing four countries across the globe. Here is the list of the winners:
- Regina Von Gootkin – USA (Wine Esquire)
- Madelyne Meyerhoye – Switzerland (EdVin)
- Michelle Williams – USA (Rockin Red Blog)
- Tomislav Ivanovic – Serbia (Vinopedia)
- Mike Turner – United Kingdom (Please Bring Me My Wine)
- Jeremy Wilson, representing – USA (Texas Wine Lover)
We had the opportunity to spend an entire week in Bordeaux, so I have decided to write a six-part series to document each day as a whole, to offer more insight into what we were experiencing on a daily basis. But first, we want to offer a gigantic THANK YOU to the entire Millesima team, Bernard Magrez, and everyone who put in the time and effort to provide the six of us a most amazing and memorable experience! I feel we were truly spoiled during our trip, and no detail was spared from the people involved, to the daily activities including wine tasting, fine dining, visits of Chateau’s, river boat tours, etc. The overall experience was mind blowing, and although it is difficult to express in words, I’ll do my best to share all the important details because this is not a trip you want to miss hearing all about! So let us begin with the first day we arrived, not technically day one of activities, but the official start of our week in Bordeaux!
The trip started with the transatlantic flight from Texas to Europe which I knew would be long, but Air France and Delta made the trip quite comfortable. Millesima was generous to make sure we could all fly from our local airports, so I had a flight directly from Austin, through Atlanta, to Paris, and then Bordeaux. Aside from a few hour delay in Atlanta and a bumpy flight due to storms in the area, the majority of the flight was super comfy and uneventful. Air France does a pretty nice job of catering well to their passengers. A soft pillow and a blanket, two tasty meals, and plenty of entertainment via the flat screen TV in the seat back in front of me, were all there to make the long haul more enjoyable. I departed Austin at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, April 1st, and arrived in Bordeaux, France at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Saturday April 2nd. France is 7 hours ahead of Central Standard Time here in the USA.
A chauffeur in a Mercedes passenger van was there waiting to pick up Regina and me, and we made the approximately one hour long trek to the luxurious Château Fombrauge in St Emilion, where we would be staying for the week. Upon arrival, our bags were promptly carried inside the Château for us, and once we picked the rooms we would be staying in, we proceeded to meet the other writers who had already arrived earlier in the day.
Mike and Tomislav were playing French Billiards in one of the common areas, and when Michelle and Madelyne emerged from their rooms, we all introduced ourselves and quickly made friends with one another right from the start. Viviana Vecchione La Zazzera was there waiting for us to arrive as well, and it was an honor to finally meet and to hang out with her. She put in a lot of work and effort to make our trip and stay go as smoothly and comfortably as possible.
Our evening at the Château was fairly laid back, which was great seeing how tired many of us were from our long travels. We explored the Château and the vineyard a bit, then sat down together for a phenomenal dinner to launch the week with style and class. I felt like we were being served as royalty honestly, considering the company and the food and wine selection. A gorgeous duck dish and Grand Cru white and red Bordeaux were served aplenty.
After dessert and some friendly banter, we said goodbye to Viviana for the evening as she went home, and we all retired to our rooms for some much needed rest. Could it possibly get any better than this? Stay tuned for part two, and find out what was waiting for us on Sunday, the official first day of our activities in Bordeaux.