Only 30 minutes away from Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion is an ideal destination for a bucolic getaway. Though the city is known worldwide for its wine, let’s not forget it has a rich history, especially the medieval part. Another remarkable point: in 1999 Saint-Émilion’s Juridiction (jurisdiction) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its cultural landscapes. It was a first time ever for a wine-growing region!
Originally, a monk from Brittany
According to the legend, the city owes its name to Émilion, a Breton monk who lived in the 8th century. Saint-Émilion was a commercial and thriving city, a trading place providing the Juridiction’s best products (wine, seeds, building stones). The city was also a famous place of pilgrimage to see the patron saint’s relics. The beautiful city of Saint-Émilion crossed Middle Ages in an undeniable prosperity, reflected by the emblematic monuments, especially the amazing underground monolithic church!
A terroir of Grands Crus Classés
To get the AOC appellation (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – Controlled Designation of Origin), the vineyard owners must be located in a rigorously defined area. They have to follow the bill of specifications to the letter and, of course, produce red wine. The wines with the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation can be entitled to a classification, revised every 10 years (the last classification was in 2012). The classification distinguishes 3 levels of quality:
- 1er Grand Cru Classé A – 4 wine estates
- 1er Grand Cru Classé – 14 wine estates
- Grand Cru Classé – 64 wine estates
The Conseil des Vins (Wine Council), through the Jurade (wine brotherhood), guarantees the reputation and promotion of these wines, as well in France as in foreign countries.
Gastronomy, a local tradition
The gastronomy is inspired by the local terroir and heritage of Saint-Émilion’s local area. Wine is central to the local cuisine, which will delight your taste-buds.
Three starred restaurants are part of the Office de Tourisme partners: L’Hostellerie de Plaisance** and the Logis de la Cadène* in Saint-Émilion, and the Auberge Saint-Jean* in Saint-Jean-de-Blaignac!
Apart from starred restaurants, another gourmet tradition is unmissable in Saint-Émilion: the macaron. This delicious specialty is an heirloom handed down from generation to generation since the Ursulines sisters created their convent in the medieval city in 1620. Macarons are made with sweet and bitter almonds, eggs whites and sugar!
Relax in the heart of a wine-growing region
Renowned for its wines and heritage, Saint-Émilion’s region is also famous for the many wine-tourism activities you can find there. By bicycle, tuk-tuk, Segway, sidecar or even with a little train: families or friends have many environmentally friendly means of transport at their disposal to apprehend the ‘Grand Saint-Émilionnais’ at their own rhythm. And for the most adventurous people, Saint-Émilion can also be seen from the skies during a flight on board a hot-air balloon.
Detailed information, advices and news on www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com
Open 7 days a week (except December 25) – +33(0)5 57 55 28 28
Place des Créneaux – 33330 SAINT-ÉMILION
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube!
Good to know :
Ask for the Aubeterre-sur-Dronne / St Emilion privilege pass and benefit from the reduced rate for a visit to one of the two underground churches !