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ST. ÉMILION

Into the wine country

sunny 69 °F
View Bill and Hope 2019 on HopeEakins's travel map.

Another adventure: exploring the magnificent wine regions around Bordeaux. We took a van to Château Fonplégade, a stunning estate in St. Émilion. Oh, how stunning! The vineyard produces a Grand Cru Classé, and every vine, every leaf, every flower bud is meticulously groomed and very beautiful. We traveled through the chalky paths on Range Rovers, riding by the 13th century fountain that gives the Château its name and the little patches of flowers that punctuate the beautiful ranks of vines. We were greeted with a Sauvignon Blanc - surprise - from the owners’ vineyard in the Napa Valley. Denise and Stephen Adams are Americans who fell in love with this ancient vineyard and bought it in 2004. The Adamses must have loved being vintners because they founded Adamvs in California in 2008. When asked how the traditional French received these newcomers, the staff rep suggested that there was at first much suspicion and hesitancy --- all counteracted by the chateau’s commitment to biodynamic cultivation and to maintaining the high classification of their wines. The Adamses also replaced one of the château’s towers, destroyed in WWII, and they completely rebuilt the former stables converting them into a state of the art wine cellar.

Château Fonplègade is an intriguing mixture of the old and new. Beautiful oak barrels lie next to modern cement egg shaped fermentation vats – the latter impart a slight minerality to the wine. The orangery is stunning. There we tasted a Pomerol from another Adams vineyard nearby and the remarkable Château Fonplègade. Oh, my goodness!

We went on to the totally charming village of St. Èmilion where we enjoyed an abundant French petit déjuner at L’Envers du Décor, along with another delicious St. Èmilion. We snoozed on the way back to the ship!
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Posted by HopeEakins 00:31 Archived in France

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