Saint-Émilion – A World Heritage Site

Saint-Émilion is an ancient town going back to prehistoric times situated in south-west France east of Bordeaux. It is a World Heritage site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.
The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. The town was named after the monk Émilion, a travelling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was the monks who followed him that started up the commercial wine production in the area.

If you like wine and good food then what better place to visit than Saint-Émilion which seems to be full of wine shops and restaurants. Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux along with the Médoc, Graves and Pomerol. The region is much smaller than the Médoc and adjoins Pomerol. As in Pomerol and the other appellations on the right bank of the Gironde, the primary grape varieties used are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon also being used by some chateaux.

Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc are the only two wines currently classified as Premiers grands crus classes A (First Great Growths category A). There are then 13 Premiers grands crus classés B and 53 grands crus classés. In addition, a large number of vineyards are classified as grand cru.

Historically there is a lot to see in Saint-Émilion from the cloisters of an abandoned monastery next to the tourist office through the winding, steep, cobbled streets with fascinating architecture to the underground catacombs of the monolithic church. 

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