Carcassone Vins et Vinos Afternoon

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Vins et Vinos in Carcassonne

This is a continuation of our holiday Carcassonne adventure focusing on wine. After hiking and exploring, we were off to learn more about the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillion. Since we didn’t have a car, and we were smack in the middle of the holidays, visiting wineries was a bit harder. Research uncovered Vins et Vinos, a small wine shop in… Read more »

Day Trip to Arcachon

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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

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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 »

Off to Carcassonne

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Carcassonne was a planned stop on our way home from Ille sur Tête. How could one not stop in such a town, so much history and wine?!? To set the stage, Carcassonne draws about 3 million visitors annually. People primarily come to see the Cité de Carcassonne, a  medieval fortress that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s basically a… Read more »

Visiting Ille-Sur-Têt

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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

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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 »

Bordeaux Holiday Market

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Lights and tinsel, spirited gatherings and regional specialties– the Bordeaux holiday market comes alive in December and lasts up to the new year. Strolling through the isles marked with brilliant decorations whose intentions are to lure you in, it’s tempting to stop and mingle with every vendor, to learn the history and story behind his or her door.    … Read more »

Boot Scrapers

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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

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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 »