The Saint-Emilion's village, a World Heritage Site
Two thousand years of history between men and vines are waiting for you in the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion, a remarkable example of a historical vineyard that has got through the ages but yet is still the same.
Saint Emilion, medieval village
Saint-Emilion is a charming medieval village located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area. It is a very unique site were world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture and great monuments are a perfect match.
The legend tells us about a monk from Brittany who fled from Vannes, his hometown, to seek refuge in one of the natural caves in a place called Ascum bas (former name of the village) in the 8th century.
His name was Emilion. Living the life of a hermit he accomplished a few miracles and rapidly became famous in the region and even far beyond its border s. Soon he had many disciples and with their help he evangelized that place and made it become a great religious center. Even after his death his followers carried on his legacy and even called the town after him: Saint-Emilion.
From the 9th century to the 19th century men had the will to mine the soil in order to standardize the whole architectural looking of not only the city of Saint-Emilion but also a few ones in the region (such as Bordeaux for instance).
Nowadays the extraction is over but there are still 200km of underground galleries under the village and its vineyard standing as a proof of that activity.
Harmonious work of Men and Nature the landscapes of Saint-Emilion are testimonies of its History. In 1999 for the first time in the world a vineyard was written on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO as a Cultural Landscape, that is to say a historical landscape that remained intact but which is still carrying on its activity.
Saint Emilion, the wine
Saint-Emilion owes its exceptional face to great so il diversity. The diversity of its wines is due to both a complex geology (sands, clay, limestone...) and a microclimate that is perfectly suitable for winemaking. Combined with the permanent care of professionals for their vines, this association of “terroirs” provides ideal conditions for the nutrition and the maturity of the different blends of grapevarieties (mostly merlot, blended with cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon or malbec). These varietals allow Saint-Emilion wines to have a wide range of aromas and flavors particularly appreciated.
Furthermore, if Saint-Emilion wines are world famous it’s also thank to the hard promotion work of the Jurade, a wine brotherhood that was yet created in 1199 by John, King of England. The latter delegated his economic, political and legal powers to the noblemen of the region and the village to let them rule. The authority of the Jurade was contested only in 1789 during the French Revolution, and then in 1948 a few winemakers resurrected the brotherhood. It is now in charge of promoting Saint-Emilion wine around the world and of organizing every year the Spring Feast and the “Ban des Vendanges” (administrative authorization to start the grape harvest).
Come and appreciate by yourself the spirit of Saint -Emilion and the quality of its fine wines thanks to different activities such as winery tours and tastings led by professionals, gourmet picnics and lunches in a wine estate or during a blending lesson that will allow you to create your own wine.
If you like better savoring your glass of wine with a nice course a lot of restaurants and quality tables d’hôtes are waiting for you in the city and the vineyard.