This was Day 2, Saturday September 22nd.
This trip was to be about the grape harvest. However, our itinerary has been turned on its head. Apparently, someone forgot to advise Mother Nature of the itinerary and she made her own. In a nutshell, this weekend we were to help with the grape harvesting, which is called vandange, and learn about life and work at the vineyard. Due to an unusually cool and wet summer the grapes are not ready to be picked yet and it does not appear they will be ready for another week or two.
Therefore, after spending some time in the morning trying to adjust to the time difference, we went to see Saint Émilion . This is one of the towns in France which an appellation is named after. There will be more about this later, but briefly an appellation is a small agricultural region that has a similar micro climate and is named after the largest town or village in the area. In addition to Saint-Émilion Grand Cru there are four satellite appellations that share the Saint Émilion name.
The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century AD.
One of the highlights in touring the town was when we found ourselves in a wine cave. There are many caves in the limestone that creates the great hill on which the town stands. The caves provide inexpensive climate control for the aging and storing of wine. In this region their temperature stays relatively constant at about 13.0 °C or 55 °F with humidity around 80%. The oldest vintage in this particular cave was from 1967.
Unfortunately, this is where the battery to the video camera died so we were unable to obtain many images there.
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