Thursday, February 26, 2015

How To Choose The Best Bordeaux Wine Tours

By Olivia Cross

Wine culture has become hugely popular in recent years. The history of one of our favorite beverages goes back to the fifth century BC so there is a lot to explore for the enthusiast and keen drinker alike. France has been at the forefront of wine cultivation since Roman times and Bordeaux is its largest growing region. There are lots of great trips in the area and the best Bordeaux wine tours are easy to find and compare online.

The vast majority of wine produced in the area is red. Only about ten percent is white or rose. This is partly due to the soil and climate. The south west of France is a limestone region with well drained gravel soils. There are three major rivers which irrigate the land and replenish nutrients.

Even in this one area there are different types and qualities of wines to taste. The river area is home to the vintage and top quality wines are their soils are richest. Then there are the left and right banks. For the novice it is probably best to choose a tour which incorporates a little of everything.

There is also a wine school in the city where visitors can take all sorts of classes. The most basic is a two hour introduction to tasting and the drinks of the area. This is a great idea for those who do not know much about wine before they start on a tour. However, if you want to get into more technical aspects of wine making there are two and three day courses where you can even try blending.

Winery tours tend to follow the same pattern. Tasting is of course a huge part of the visit but also the producers will show off their vines, vat rooms, barrel rooms and cellars. It usually takes an hour or two. Depending on the size of the estate you may be shown around by the owner. This is a really special experience and could probably make a wine lover out of anyone. They are usually very passionate about their product and its history and enjoy sharing this with visitors.

When thinking about the best time of year to take a trip to Bordeaux a couple of things should be considered. Firstly, the beginning of April is a busy period for the wineries and they do not usually take visitors. Also the winter months are less appealing as the land is quite barren and many producers are busy blending and not interested in doing tours. Also, if you are planning a short trip of only a few days make sure to go midweek and vineyards are usually closed at weekends.

Besides wine the area has lots to offer. The city is a World Heritage Site with beautiful architecture and lots of cultural activities. There are walking tours and plenty of museums to keep the visitor happy for days. It is possible to add on extra time before or after a wine package to enjoy the city and its surroundings

A typical wine tour package will include visits to a variety of wine producers, a guide, transport and driver, lunches, accommodation and often a class at wine school. Most operators also offer bespoke tours. This means for people who have an interest in a particular wine or type of grape they can choose which vineyards to visit. Travel agents can also arrange stay in local villages, spa trips, history tours and more.

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