Here we are my wine friends, the last chapter in the book of the fantastic trip to Bordeaux for Texas Wine Lover. The week leading up to this point was absolutely amazing, but we still had one more full day to take in the sights, smells, and of course the glorious tastes of Bordeaux, France. Let’s begin!
It was Thursday, our last full day in France, and I awoke feeling excited for another day in wine country. We had our usual breakfast at Château Fombrauge, and then embarked on our journey to Bordeaux city to board a private boat for a guided river tour. Solenne was our hostess from Millesima for the day, and together we all cruised toward town. There was a light drizzle and the temperatures were a bit chilly when we got out of the van and walked toward the boat, but once we began the tour, the sun came out just in time for a lovely trip up the Garonne River.
Our guides talked with us about the history of the river and the growing industry of river boat tours, which is a very neat way to see the region by the way. We saw wineries, castles, private homes, and other riverboats while on our journey. After a good hour or so on the water, we arrived at our destination. 007 (our driver, who very much resembles James Bond with his suit and stylish sunglasses) was waiting at the dock for us, and allowed my wine friends and me the chance to see and photograph an old castle, before making the journey to the one and only Château we would be visiting that particular day.
After a short van ride, we pulled through the gates of a stunning winery, Château La Tour Carnet, which is another Bernard Magrez property. The grounds were perfectly manicured and the main building was an old castle. We had the opportunity to tour the inside of the Château to look at some historical artifacts, and then we all sat down for another stellar chef prepared lunch at a huge table. I almost felt like we would be knighted while there, and we were most definitely treated like royalty. Lunch was amazing as always and of course we were served only the best wines to accompany the delicious cuisine.
Once our bellies were full of food, we took a tour of the cellar with the winemaker and we were shown the tank and barrel rooms. Then, we were handed off to a Sommelier who guided us through the Atelier B winemaker class, which is basically a blending class where you get to make your own blended wine with a custom label printed for you to take home. This was a really fun and educational experience for all of us, and was quite possibly one of the most tasty classes I have ever been involved in. After a few group photos, it was time to head back to Château Fombrauge and it was a sad moment, as we said our goodbyes to Frederic. He had been a daily guide and photographer for us for most of the trip, and I’ll miss his antics and the near constant blinding moments from his camera flash, which we nicknamed “the sun.” That sucker was huge, and freakishly bright!
On the way back to our home away from home, we were given the fastest walking tour ever of St Émilion given by Mike, part of our wine crew. We were already running late getting back for dinner, but did not want to miss our last opportunity to check out the tiny town. St Émilion is a really cool little town, and the roads are super steep and lined with shops and restaurants. We arrived back at Château Fombrauge and were greeted by many from the Millesima team. We all chatted while sipping on Serbian wine that Toma brought and Texas wine that I brought.
Dinner was fantastic and the chatter and life at the table was something you could feel. The pulse of the room was beating firmly, and what a great time it was. Afterward, the wine crew and I had one last hoorah in the living area, a pajama party if you will, with wine, French billiards, and just plain old good company. We all went to bed and took the van to Bordeaux airport the next morning and said our goodbyes before heading back to our respective countries. I will never forget this amazing experience provided by Bernard Magrez and Millesima. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we were treated like superstars.
I will miss my wine posse and the crew with Millesima, and I will always cherish the week in Bordeaux we all spent together. Thank you so very much to the entire Millesima team and to Bernard Magrez for everything you did for us. You made the experience truly unforgettable! Cheers!
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