Friday, 23 October 2009

Busman's holiday

Situated in south west France's Aquitaine region, the port city of Bordeaux is built on a bend in the Garonne river. It's a city famous for its wine trade and the 37 or so wine producing sub-regions surrounding it. One of these regions, Graves, is the only one famed for all three main Bordeaux wines: red (claret), white and dessert, and also includes the Premiere Cru Chateau Haut-Brion. The area is rich in terroir, from the eponymous gravel that reflects heat to the underside of the fruit, to the noble rot inducing mists of the Sauternes banks of the Garonne. And so it's to there that I'm headed this weekend to visit vineyards and talk pigeon French/English to the dedicated and enthusiastic artisanal producers. I'll be taking beer, our own handcrafted offering, in the certain knowledge it will be gratefully received, thoughtfully tasted and thoroughly enjoyed by my viticultural brothers. I'm looking forward to meeting old friends, making new ones and sharing in the fruits of our collective labours. And I won't be back for a week.

That all sounds lovely but have you ever driven to Bordeaux? It's a bloody long way.

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