Have you ever taken a walk around the vineyards in summer in Bordeaux? Well, now I am inviting you to walk with me. Yes, right now. No worries, you don’t have to stand up, just keep on reading and enjoying the photos; you will be making a virtual sightseeing tour. So, let’s start!
Welcome to our walking tour around the pretty châteaux of Bordeaux. We are now in Cantenac and we will reach to Margaux by passing from Issan. We will start our journey from beautiful Chateau Kirwan, which takes its name from its first owner, which was an Irish family. We are taking the road Chemin de Kirwan and heading to west. Actually, we have two options: go along the railway or walk from the road in between the vineyards. Let’s take the vineyard road. When we are walking, try to take deep breaths and keep your head up to see this incredible panorama. You can see only the vines and the sky, actually if you look just straight you will even have the impression that there was a sea of vines. How enjoyable is this! So we are keeping on walking and we are crossing the railway in direction of Margaux.
Oh, I guess there are some people walking behind us. Apparently, an elder French couple is also making a walking tour like us. In these small villages of Bordeaux people are so kind; they would always greet you on the road. So they are saying ‘Bonjour’ to us and we are starting to talk. I will just translate you the speech because we are speaking in French. They are telling me that they have been living in this village for forty years and they know all the châteaux. They worked for a long time in one of them, and their son is still working there. Now they are just pointing us the châteaux that we are seeing from here, in the south we have Château Cantenac-Brown and Château Brane Cantenac, in the north we have Château Palmer and Château Margaux. They are suggesting us to see all of them. I am thanking them for the recommendation. Let’s continue our trip by choosing the north, by leaving the south for our way back.
So by choosing north, we are arriving to Issan. The next château on our way is Château Palmer with its vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Here, you can see its historical building and well-kept garden. And now, we are entering to Margaux and walking towards Château Margaux. Of course, if we wanted to visit any château in this region and make a tasting, we definitely needed an appointment. But for now, we are just seeing them from outside. We are entering to noble principal way of Château Margaux which has trees on both sides. There is also a guard, we are saying him ‘Bonjour’ and walking through the entrance. We are in front of the magnificent château with roots extend to 16th century. This tradition and history behind the winemaking impresses me. And just take a look at this vineyard, you can understand how well they kept their soil and managed the viticulture activities. The grapes are shouting like: “We are healthy and delicious; we will definitely become a good wine!”
Now let’s continue to walk towards to city center of Margaux. Look, what it is written here on the sidewalk: “Margaux, the most famous vineyard in the world”. And we are continuing all the way down, we are passing through many châteaux on our way. By the way, are you hungry? Here, we have some restaurants where we can eat or a patisserie where we can drink a coffee and rest a while. And in the end of the road, a really tasty surprise is waiting for us: Mademoiselle de Margaux! This chocolate store has special chocolates called “Sarment du Médoc”. It is a gastronomic heritage of Aquitaine region and definitely worth to try. We should really get some rest at this point, because we have a long way back and a lot more to see. By the way, before going out from the center of Margaux, if you want to buy a bottle of wine to enjoy tonight and relax from the tiredness of our walking tour, we can pass by La cave d’Ulysse. It is a wine shop with a wide selection of wine; they have especially Bordeaux wines, also the older vintages of them, but also the wines from the other regions.
Do you remember where we saw the French couple and then turned towards north? Okay, now we are heading to south from the same point and we are walking directly towards Château Cantenac-Brown. Even from really far way, you can easily see the prettiness of this château. The more you get closer, the more it gets pretty. This château has a really different style of architecture; Tudor architecture style. Now, we are keeping on walking along the vineyards with roses in the beginning of rows. Do you know why they plant roses in the beginning of the rows of vines? Yes, it looks pretty, it is one reason. The other reason is that sometimes they can show the symptoms of the diseases before the vines do, so it is kind of a protection of the vineyard. Passing through the roses, finally we are reaching to Château Brane-Cantenac, which welcomes us with its unique tower surrounded by vines.
We are coming to the end of our walking tour. I think everybody is very tired now; we have been walking all day long. I hope you enjoyed our walk, as much as I did.
All images © 2015 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.