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Europe » France » Bordeaux

You'll be raising your glass many times in Bordeaux, which is renowned for its wines, considered amongst the best in the world. After years of neglect, the former wet docks are the country's new hot spot, with a number of cafés, gardens, and museums springing up all the time.

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First things first. Bordeaux is a wine mecca. Devotees make pilgrimages to the Medoc, Pomerol and Saint Emilion. A port city, Bordeaux was an important trade route for many goods other than wine. But as the wine industry grew over the last century, and French wines became increasingly the world's gold standard, the city of Bordeaux grew as the home for the wine negotiants through whom almost all Bordeaux wines are distributed throughout the world.

The city of Bordeaux is a 2 star city, with modest sights and accomodations. However, just up the D2 wine road are the powerhouses of French wine - names like Margaux, Lafitte, Latour, Lynch Bages, and so many other greats. Chateaus line either side of the road; many are open for tours and tastings. A few great hotels lie among them.

A short drive East of Bordeauz is the stunningly beautiful 13th century village of St. Emilion. I highly recommend a night or two in the Hotel de Plaissance, where you can eat amazing food and drink spectacular wine in the glass walled diningroom overlooking the night lit village. Of course, St. Emilion wines are different from their Medoc cousins, principally made with Merlot grapes instaed of Cabernet Sauvignon. While not my preference, there are great ones, and the town is steeped in 2,000 plus years of history - check out Chateau Ausone, named after the Roman poet, whose 1,000 year old cellar is cut out of limestone hills.
Whatever your taste, you'll always savor Bordeaux.