Exploring Pauillac's Beautiful Wineries #CroisiEuropePhotoTour #FranceIsInTheAir

Posted by Christina Guan on 05/28/2015

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Isn’t it incredible what a small world we live in?
 
Today, in the middle of the Medoc region of France, 5000 miles away from home, I found myself speaking to a girl who used to live only 20 minutes away from me. I am always amazed that in a world of 7 billion people, we are still able to witness such coincidental meetings… Despite being strangers, I felt an instant connection, and somehow felt a bit closer to home. After a brief conversation, we exchanged emails and parted ways… And just like that, our storylines diverged as instantly as they had collided. Eurosia, if you’re reading this, thank you sincerely for making my day!
 
The rest of the day was pretty fantastic as well. We began by docking this afternoon in the picturesque town of Pauillac. After a week of cloudy Norman weather, I couldn’t be more thrilled to take in the bright sunshine of Southwest France. As I stepped off the cruise and onto the marina, I was absolutely giddy at the sight of blue skies and the clusters of fishing boats that bobbed in the water. Pauillac may be small, but its simple beauty is ripped straight from a storybook:
 
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Because this region of France is world-renowned for its delicious wines, it was only fitting that our first excursion of the cruise would be to some nearby wineries. I adore wine, but am perhaps better versed in its consumption rather than its theory and preparation. That said, with my eagerness to learn new things, I was more than ready to become an expert in wine production!
 
After a short drive, we arrived at the gorgeous manor of Château Balac, a family-owned winery that has been around since the 60s. My first thought as we arrived was: can I please live here?


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As we toured the winery, our guide led us through the entire wine making process. All the grapes are handpicked, she told us, and taken through a 2 year long preparation process before it is bottled and sold. They also exclusively produce red wines of blended varieties, meaning a combination of grapes are used to create the final product. The depth and precision of their work was beyond what I could have ever imagined, and needless to say, I’ll be appreciating every sip of wine a lot more than before.  

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After indulging in a brief tasting of the Château Balac’s wonders, we continued on with a stop at the Pauillac Tourism Office, where we sampled some sweet treats and browsed their boutique full of souvenirs. Before heading back to the boat, we took a scenic tour around the region, passing by sumptuous chateaux, bright blue skies and endless stretches of vivid greenery. It was a beautiful drive for sure.  

Tomorrow, we have another packed day, with a visit to Blaye and an excursion to the Corniche (cliff route). From this point on, we’re wandering off to places I’ve never heard even of, and while I have no idea what to expect, there’s no doubt I am very excited.
 
Talk to you soon!
- Christina

 

In partnership with AirFrance #FranceIsInTheAir

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