Bordeaux: City of Water and Wine 

The name of the fifth largest city in France aptly expresses its relationship to the landscape. Its a place which has been occupied for  millenia given its position on the Garonne river and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The Romans called it Burdigala and were responsible for introducing that other important flowing liquid, wine, to the region and since those times, the city’s history and prosperity has been  intimately linked with the wine trade. 

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It was due to that powerful and visionary woman, Aliénor d’Aquitaine,  and her alliance with Henry Plantagenet who shortly after became king of England, that the wines of Bordeaux gained favour with the English people. Those full bodied yet easy to drink Clarets in particular were a favourite and to honour this predilection of his subjects,  the king established “Bordeaux wines privilege” so that wines from other regions were heavily taxed and excluded from centering the city lest they sully the area’s magnificent product’s . 

I became fascinated by this amazing history when I visited Le Musée du Vin located in the historic Chatrons area of the city. Every aspect of the trade was covered. 

At certain periods of history the trade became solidified, codified and strucured to evaluate the worth of each wine type,  label and year of production

As I left the museum after a mini wine tasting at 10.30 in the morning I walked down to the Quai to clear my head and appreciate the magnificent Garonne river which flows through the city. As I walked back through the public gardens I caught a welcome spray from the fountain, just enough to cool me down on a day set to reach 35 degrees.

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