France

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    Alsace is where the Latin and Germanic worlds meet. Germanic in vigour, French in gaiety but alsacien in the appeal of the final mix.

    Alsace is one of France’s most famous Wine Roads. The Alsace Wine route is without doubt it’s most attractive. It offers delights for both the eye and the palate.

    From flower-decked villages to perched castles, mountain meadows, wine cellars, excellent restaurants and inns, the region deserves its reputation as a delightful tourist destination.

    Alsace has a unique microclimate, sheltered by the Vosges mountains to the west and in the plains of the Rhine river to the east.

    Alsace is predominantly a white wine region producing quality wine from distinctive grapes such as Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer.

    Gastronomy in Alsace is world renowned, and its richness being a good match for their medium bodied wines. Alsace justifiably has more than its share of Michelin star restaurants.

    Colmar, the quintessential medieval capital of Alsace, with its canals, storks and flower bedecked houses is not to be missed.

    For lovers of exceptional wines and hostelry the following villages are a must: Bergheim, Obernai, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim and Rouffach.

    A visit and wine tasting in the traditional cellars of Hugel and Maison Trimbach complete the picture.

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    Bordeaux is the largest fine wine producing region in the world. Bordeaux city is now considered to be the second most beautiful city in France after Paris and is an elegant, sophisticated city with panache. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s grand 18th century river front façades overlook the Garonne river and pretty quayside walkways.

    Bordeaux is renowned for its wine, gastronomy, culture and shopping. It lives by one simple rule ‘food is for everyone’. It is easily one of the best gastronomic destinations in France, with an extensive choice of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.

    Bordeaux’s best known wine regions are Medoc, St Emilion, Graves, Pessac Leognan and Sauternes, producing red, white, rose and dessert wines. Bordeaux boasts in excess of 8000 chateaux. It’s best known, first class chateaux being, Haut Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild.

    The Irish ‘Wild Geese’ fled to Bordeaux in the late 18th century and their tradition is very much alive today with the Irish chateaux of Lynch Bages, Kirwan, Mc Carthy and Phelan Segur.

    St Emilion is located in leisurely hours drive east of Bordeaux city. It is a medieval village famous for its natural beauty,wine and architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, perched on a hill with the whole area covered in vines. The heart of the town and exceptionally well preserved church, catacombs, castle and convents are all clustered around the old town walls.

    If you desire to feel the buzz in the wine world then head for St Emilion and savour its bustling restaurants and wine bars.