Author Archives: Mark

Day Trip to Arcachon

      3 Comments on Day Trip to Arcachon

My classmate Edward was born and raised in Bordeaux and offered to take us for a day-trip over to Arcachon, a small town about 1 hour west of here on the shores of Bassin d’Arcachon (actually a large sheltered bay connected to the Atlantic Ocean).  Our primary objective was oysters (‘huîtres’ in French), but we also wanted to check out… Read more »

Having Folks Over

      2 Comments on Having Folks Over

Once classes let out for the holidays, most of my classmates left town to go home.  But a few of us stayed around, and we had Gonzague (French) and Tasos (Greek) over for lunch one day.  Gonzague brought the baguettes and cheese (how French is that) and Tasos brought the fixings for (you guessed it) …a Greek salad! For Christmas… Read more »

Visiting Ille-Sur-Têt

      No Comments on Visiting Ille-Sur-Têt

Our friends Rick and Larry from Sacramento were visiting friends in a small town in southeast France called Ille-sur-Têt.    After Lynn finished her wine exam on Friday, we hopped on the train to pay them a visit!  They were staying with their friends Ann and Richard (also from Sacramento), who moved to Ille-sur-Têt about three years ago and are in… Read more »

Cooperage Visits

      2 Comments on Cooperage Visits

So far, I’ve had opportunity to visit two barrel making operations (cooperages) in the Bordeaux area, of which there are dozens.  Depending on the style of red wine, after fermentation is complete, wines are often aged in oak barrels.  In some cases, such as in Bordeaux and Bourgogne (Burgundy), white wines are both fermented and aged in oak barrels.  Barrels… Read more »

Boot Scrapers

      No Comments on Boot Scrapers
Mud Scraper

When visiting new places, I seem to pick up on little things.  So walking around town I began to notice what I later learned were mud scrapers next to the entrances of many older buildings.  Called décrottoirs in French, they come in a variety of styles, and I spent the last couple of days taking pictures (and a getting a… Read more »

Field Trip to Montpellier

      No Comments on Field Trip to Montpellier

Mark’s class had a 5-day field trip to attend a winery and vineyard equipment expo in Montpellier France, which is on the Mediterranean coast, about a 5 hour bus trip across the country from Bordeaux. We had a couple of days at the expo, which was a chance to see, touch, and learn about all sorts of equipment.  For vineyard… Read more »

Thanksgiving in Cadillac

      1 Comment on Thanksgiving in Cadillac

My classmate Nea (from Finland) wanted to host and experience an American-style Thanksgiving dinner.  So with the help of Cat (my Canadian classmate) and Lynn she planned a feast for about 30 of our classmates, teachers and their families this weekend.  To make things really fun it was hosted at her family’s estate Chateau Carsin near the town of Cadillac… Read more »

Paris Attacks

      No Comments on Paris Attacks

While Bordeaux is relatively far from Paris, it made no difference in terms of the shock and sadness felt here, and all over the country …or the world for that matter.  It felt similar to us in many ways as it did after 9/11.  It was also interesting how being from another country did not really change or diminish our… Read more »

Back to School

      1 Comment on Back to School

I was slugging out my morning commute the other day, and thought it was time, after nearly two months, to share about my school experience and new classmates. I’m working toward a 2-year master’s degree in vineyard and winery management at Bordeaux Sciences Agro; the agricultural school within the University of Bordeaux system.  It’s both a business and science master’s… Read more »