The importance of avoiding pesticides and herbicides is clear in the wine industry. However, only 25 percent of most vineyards in Bordeaux can call themselves Bio or Organic. 1,39% of Bordeaux vineyards are biodynamic.
What do the French eat for Christmas? I wanted to share many of those Christmas meal items and some of the history behind them, so you can prepare a French Christmas meal, keeping in mind that in most French homes the big day is on Christmas Eve...Santa Claus or 'Papa Noel' even comes then (not on Christmas day).
The number of women in winemaking in Bordeaux has grown exponentially in the last 30 years. There is still room to grow in this historically predominantly male industry. Here are some women in Saint Emilion winemaking to watch, from owners to oenologists.
There are so many wonderful wine bars in Bordeaux, but so many only offer charcuterie and cheese. Wine, in particular red wine, has been accompanied by cheese for ages. Tanins, like those in coffee and chocolate also, are softened by dairy. So it makes sense its a classic pairing. And who doesn't love some porc noir de Biggore with a nice glass of Chateau Ferriere (one of my favorite combinations at the wonderful bio wine bar Complain Terra). What if you want more? It's equally fun to try wines with different styles of food and in France, that's what wine is about - complimenting or enjoying with a dish! Here are some of my favourites in Bordeaux, which is your favourite?
Helen Kelly with her husband Nick, are the winemakers and owners at Chateau de Claribes in Gensac, Gironde. Originally from Oxfordshire, East of London, Helen and Nick were working in IT and decided to make a major life change. Like so many who move to France, the choice was for a better quality of life. More balance. While both travelled often for work and leisure, most importantly holidaying in a vineyard in the Entre-Deux-Mers, the final decision to permanently move seemed clear.
This village in South-East Gironde is a great place to come with your family! Are you wondering what to do in Bazas with your children? The arcaded centre of town is easy to walk around and has plenty of natural space surrounding the exterior wall for small children to run around. There is a nice playground, new skate park, public swimming pool all and family friendly tours with Aquitaine Travel Guide, of course!
No, vineyards do not stretch as far as the eye can see in North Carolina, but there are a lot of similarities between these two places I've lived that made Gironde feel like home immediately. Colonial History between Bordeaux and the South Bordeaux in essence is a colonial city. So much of its Roman and... Continue Reading →
Located at the end of the river into the Atlantic Ocean, one hour from Wilmington, you find this charming old port town. Once only known for the fishing boats arriving, it's fast becoming a retiree dream land with marinas and beautiful developments popping up everywhere. I wish you could see the Southport we knew from decades ago, but I think you'll still find that vibe in the old town and along the waterfront.
Autumn is my favorite time to go...when the oak leaves are changing color and the air is cool and crisp. This part of South-West France has some of the most impressive seasonal landscapes. Sarlat-la-Caneda, a stunning medieval village in the Périgord Noir of Dordogne is a great place to stop if you're visiting the area.... Continue Reading →
LandesMimizanBiscarrosseSabresSanguinetLabastide-d'ArmagnacEugénie-les-BainsPerquieHossegor Surf Club How to Get There : This is a vast expanse of land, so a car is recommended. There is an airport in Dax, or you could drive down from Bordeaux. The main train stations would be Dax and Mont-de-Marsan. History : One of the least visited areas of the Aquitaine region might... Continue Reading →
One of the best surprises when visiting San Sebastian years ago, was that this incredible, vibrant and culinarily inspiring culture didn't stop at the French border. The Basque (or Iparralde in Basque) goes well into France, touching the lower half of Les Landes in Nouvelle Aquitaine. The Basque language, Euskera, like the people, one of... Continue Reading →
One of the woman I worked with, back when I was a chef and she was first mate, Suzanne McGhee, is now an incredibly knowledgeable yacht broker. Having succeeded in the industry as a captain, no small feat in such a high pressure industry, she is now helping clients find their dream holiday yacht. Due to her first hand experience in the industry, she knows what is required onboard, the best places to cruise to, and many other inside tips which other yachting agents could miss. Below, Suzanne shares some more insight, enjoy!
It is run as a biodynamic vineyard and your tour with guide Eveli Rodriguez will highlight some of the more important and interesting parts of biodynamic wine making. This might have been my favourite part because it opened conversation to other unique methods of farming, like the use of music to promote growth and protect from mildew. Eveli adores questions so come prepared!
With so many wine bars in Bordeaux to choose from, how do you pick one? First question is why are you going? Is it for casual food and wine apero time? Or, are you wanting to learn more about the classic wines from Bordeaux? Are you interested in the natural wines from the area? Here is a short guide to a handful of the wine bars in Bordeaux.
Thermal spas are a great way to spend a day. As a mom, they're a wonderful, rejuvenating experience alone. They're also really fun with kids! There are so many different styles and price points, how do you know which one to choose? The Landes region, South of Bordeaux, has multiple historical thermal spa towns.
Villandraut is around an hour from Bordeaux, only accessible by car or bicycle, but full of history. The Chateau which dominates the center of town was built by Pope Clement V who was born in Villandraut. The Ciron River flows through, offering water activites in the summer, and a weekly Thursday market is a great way to take in the local culinary culture!
While best used fresh - my ideal serving for cepes is to get really firm smaller ones, trim the ends and sear in a pan with olive oil then adding butter, minced garlic and parsley towards the end. These mushrooms are a great addition to risottos and meat jus for sauces. However, often you'll find you have found older cepe or just have too many and I find slicing them and freezing or dehydrating is the best way to reuse. I'm not a huge fan of the canned ones as they lose a lot of their texture. Making a dried mushroom powder to add to dishes for that extra umami flavor is also a great way to savor them year-round.
Travel tips from a travel planner on the best days to book tours, flights and restaurants. Vineyards in Bordeaux often take the weekends off and many restaurants will have great lunch menus at half the price of dinner. What to do and when to do it!
So many of us who love France and wine, will dream of spending a day harvesting grapes in one of the vineyards. Is this possible? Can I work on a vineyard if I'm a tourist? Where can I find harvest employment if I can legally work?
Long and warm days are the best to explore the department that you will end up liking a Lot! Less known than its neighboring Dordogne, the Lot department is rich in natural beauties as much as in historical landmarks. Over the course of three road trips from Gironde, we started exploring the department, from North to South and from West to East, with younger kids, with older kids and once even leaving the kids at home.