General description :
Saint-Emilion can be likened to an amazing open-air museum. It also has more than 70 hectares of underground galleries dug out of solid limestone as well as a remarkable monolithic church. These constitute some of the town's most striking features.
The above are by no means all that is of interest in Saint-Emilion. There are Romanesque monuments and vestiges tucked away in the back streets which seem to defy the passage of time. The stone is a soft ochre colour, and somehow symbolises the town's spirit. We invite you to share in this spirit.
Saint-Emilion is the ideal place for either a relaxing stroll or a closer look at the town's fascinating buildings. Whatever the reason, you are sure to feel welcome.
Saint-Emilion wines are renowned and enjoyed around the world, but not all of them are grands crus. Wine has always been of paramount importance to the town. Hard work, draconian regulations and the ability to work together have ensured Saint-Emilion's prosperity and independence through the centuries. Wine flows in the town's veins... It is as much a part of Saint-Emilion's image as its famous monuments…
Vines grow all around the town: they are inseparable from the landscape and seem to have sculptured it, providing infinite variety and character. Châteaux and vineyards are everywhere. They reflect centuries of history and generations of hard work. There is someone behind every bunch of ripe, purple grapes, and behind every vine leaf.
Most Saint-Emilion vineyards are family-owned and relatively small: 7 hectares on average.
Is this the magic formula for making such a great wine? It is, in any case, an essential ingredient...
Walking through this open-air museum, one naturally imagines a virtual portrait gallery. This obviously features the hermit, Saint-Emilion, the spiritual father of all the Saint-Emilionnais. However, there are many others too, key historical figures who left their mark on the town's history, as well as a legacy of houses, stones, and land…. Great and lesser men have shaped the town's character. They all contributed to creating one of the world's most special places.
Known all over the world for their exploits or perhaps completely forgotten, these men left their mark on Saint-Emilion. One can just imagine the Roman poet Ausonius walking through his vines to find inspiration. The period of the fugitive Girondins, who sought refuge in Saint-Emilion, was a more turbulent time in the city's history. Eleanor of Aquitaine and her descendents also have a few secrets to share with us.
However, let us not forget those who have enabled Saint-Emilion to survive the centuries without a wrinkle: the people of Saint- Emilion. These families have transmitted a certain idea of the good life from generation to generation... Their progeny still hold the keys to understanding the town, and there is always an attentive audience when they begin to tell its history.
|Description - Art of living in France
Description of activity "Art of living in France" :
A paradise for vines and the wines
Saint-Emilion is a wine of great tradition, already well known during the Gallo-Roman period. It is a complex appellation with a great diversity of soils, which adds to its mystery and prestige.
Saint-Emilion wines are renowned and enjoyed all around the world, but they are not only great wines, they have always been of paramount importance for the town. Hard work, draconian regulations and the ability to work together have ensured Saint-Emilion's prosperity and independence through the centuries. Wine flows in the town's veins... and in its inhabitants, this is probably a comparison that can be done easily, but here it is close from reality. The Saint-Emilion vineyards are located in the north-east part of the Gironde department, on hillsides overlooking the Dordogne valley. The appellation has an outstanding microclimate and unique soils. Hills, terraces and plateaux alternate on a total area of 5,400 hectares. The soil is composed of stones, sand, gravel, clay and silt. This diversity of soils is complemented by premium grape varieties: Merlot, and to a lesser extent Cabernet. The average annual production of the Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellations is 250,000 hectolitres.
The wine of Saint-Emilion does not exist !
There is not one wine, but different kinds of wine. The appellation produces a tremendously wide range of wines for the greater delight of consumers everywhere. Each has its own special personality, full of subtle nuances, from the most humble, but nevertheless delicious wines, to the most prestigious growths, which can age for decades. Young wines have aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry, and blackberry, as well as vanilla and fresh toast. Older wines have a bouquet of leather or venison and generally have a better structure and more power. There are a myriad of aromas in a glass of Saint-Emilion. The wines have a brilliant crimson colour, which deepen with age, and a great deal of generosity on the palate. These are the main qualities of this «nectar of the Gods», but a thousand and one others are to be discovered.. while tasting !
Vines grow all around the town: they are inseparable from the landscape and seem to have sculpted it, providing infinite variety and personality. Chateaux and vineyards stand proudly everywhere with deep roots. They reflect centuries of history and generations of hard work. There is always someone behind every bunch of ripe, purple grapes, and behind every vine leaf. Most of Saint-Emilion vineyards are family-owned and relatively small: 7 hectares on average. Is this the magic formula for making such a great wine? It is, in any case, an essential ingredient.
Visit of cellars and discovery of vineyards.
Visit of a wine property situated in the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion.
A guide from the Tourist Office introduces you the Appellation and you will then go to visit a family-owned vineyard, where you will be welcomed by the owner who will explain the various stages involved in the winemaking process and will invite you to taste his wine.
Duration : 1:30 hour. Prices: 117 ? per group to visit one cellar (2 cellars : 151 ?) + possible extra charge for tasting.
Tours in French, English, German, Spanish.
From May to September
Guided Tours in the vineyards
Every afternoon from Monday to Saturday included
Introduction of the vineyards and visit of a wine château with wine tasting.
Registration at, and departure from the Tourist Office: at 3:30 PM in May, June and September; at 2 PM and 4:15 PM in July and August. Tours in French and in English. Transport to the château by coach.
Prices: adults 9.60 ?, children 6 ?
Discovery of the landscapes of the former Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion listed by the U.N.E.S.C.O. as World Heritage.
This tour, made by a guide from the Tourist Office is composed of the discovery of the landscape written on the World Heritage List of the U.N.E.S.C.O. in December 1999 and of a visit in a wine château.
Departure: every day all year long by appointment.
Duration: about 1:30 hour for the discovery and 1:30 hour for the visit.
Guided tours made in French, English, German, Spanish.
Package: 151 ? for a 3-hour visit.
Extra charge for tasting and transport.
By feet or on bicycle (individuals or groups) depending on the time at your disposal.
With a guide: Price: 117 ? for 2 hours, 151 ? for 3 hours + bike hiring.
Around the wine
Introduction to Wine Tasting
- Maison du Vin de Saint-Emilion (supprimer Ecole du vin de Saint-Emilion)
Professional tasting room.
- Bilingual wine tasting initiation course (French/English), led by an oenologist, daily at 11 AM until 12:30 AM from mid-July to mid-September. Booking on the spot - 17?.
- Inititation programmes to wine tasting and discovery of Saint-Emilion wines: 2h, half-day or full day with an oenologist. For groups of 10 people at least, all year round, on request.
INTERACTIVE VIDEO SPACE « Discovering the vineyard and the wines of Saint-Emilion »
A variety of videos to complete your knowledge about Saint-Emilion and its wines: history, grape varieties and terroirs, works in the vines, wine-making process, marrying wine and food, .(free entrance)
PERMANENT SHOW « THE SEASONS OF VINES AND WINES »
Discover the terroirs, grapes varieties, works in the vines, and elaboration of great Saint-Emilion wines thanks to an educational itinerary of photos (free entrance).
THE TABLE OF SMELLS
A playful creation to test your sensibility to aromas of Saint-Emilion wines: for kids and adults (free entrance).
Opening hours :
November to March: 10 AM - 12:30 AM & 2 PM - 6 PM
April, May, June, July, September, October: 9:30 AM -12:30AM & 2 PM -6:30 PM
August: 9:30 AM - 7 PM
Place Pierre Meyrat - 33330 Saint-Emilion
T.: 05 57 55 50 55 - Fax: 05 57 55 53 10
- Vignobles et Châteaux / Wine School of Saint-Emilion ®,
Introduction to wine tasting made by a professional, every day: 11 AM in French, 3 PM in English, 5:30 PM for groups that booked in advance. Duration: 1:30 hour Price: 20 ? / person.
From October 15th to April 15th: by appointment.
Open all the year.
4, rue du Clocher - 33330 Saint-Emilion
T: 05 57 74 44 29 - ./Fax : 05 57 74 43 02
Train of the Great Vineyards
Operating from Easter to November 13th from 10.30 AM to 12.00 AM and from 2.00 PM to 6.30 PM.
Commented tour onboard a touristic train among the most prestigious chateaux in Saint-Emilion train. You will discover the architecture, the cellars and the geographical situation of some of the famous estates.
Length : 35 minutes
Panoramic view on the village and the Dordogne river (film recorder and cameras recommended)
Language : English
Prices: individuals: 5.50 ? for adults, 4.50 ? for children between 3 and 13 years old. Groups over 24 people : 5 ?.
BP.73 - 33330 Saint-Emilion
E-mail : email@example.com
T.: 05 57 51 30 71 - Fax: 05 57 51 01 99
Ecomusée du Vigneron (Winegrowers Museum)
In the heart of the village of Montagne (4 km north of Saint-Emilion). Thanks to an authentic and convivial presentation, this museum brings you to a better understanding of history and traditions linked to the civilisation of vines and wines, which have shaped this territory.
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 2 PM - 6 PM from April 1st to November 11th
Monday to Friday:10AM - 12AM & 2 PM - 6 PM during school holidays:
Easter holidays: from April 1st to May 8th
Summer holidays: from June 15th to September 15th
All Saints: from October 25th to November 11th
all year round by appointment from 10 AM to 6 PM (except from December 15th to January 15th).
adults: 5.50 ?, reduced rate: 3.90 ?, children: 2.60 ? and families: 15.50 ?, free under 10 years old.
Free for children under 10.
For groups, please ask us.
T.: 05 57 74 56 89 - Fax: 05 57 55 21 01
Official tourism authorities