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Ophorus Tours - Saint-Émilion

Aquitaine

Saint-Émilion

We organize private wine tours or sightseeing tours departing from Saint Emilion. We will come and pick you up at your accommodation and take you to the major wine regions including saint emilion, médoc and graves & sauternes. We can also organize a private tour to Bordeaux including a guided walking tour of the town and visit to La Cité du Vin wine museum.

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Learn more about Saint-Émilion

Saint Emilion Travel Guide (Nouvelle Aquitaine, France) Saint Emilion is a small village located approximately a 45 minute drive from Bordeaux.  A bit of History The medieval village of Saint Emilion is all the more charming because it is so different from all the other French medieval villages. Emilian, a Benedictine monk, was born in Brittany in the 8th century, to a modest family. The count who ruled the province chose him to be his financial steward, which turned out to be an unfortunate distinction in his life: Jealous rivals accused him of thievery to discredit him in the eyes of his master and confidant. After some turmoil, his path eventually led him to a forest where, captivated ...

Saint Emilion Travel Guide (Nouvelle Aquitaine, France)

Saint Emilion is a small village located approximately a 45 minute drive from Bordeaux. 

A bit of History

The medieval village of Saint Emilion is all the more charming because it is so different from all the other French medieval villages. Emilian, a Benedictine monk, was born in Brittany in the 8th century, to a modest family. The count who ruled the province chose him to be his financial steward, which turned out to be an unfortunate distinction in his life: Jealous rivals accused him of thievery to discredit him in the eyes of his master and confidant.

After some turmoil, his path eventually led him to a forest where, captivated by the serenity of the area, he dug out a cave and dedicated his life to God. The hermit had performed so many miracles and done so much good around him that his name was given to the place where he had lived (after his death in 767) which became known as St Emilion.

Visit The Underground Monolithic Cathedral

Discover a very unusual place not to be missed: the underground monuments including the monolithic church. 125 ft long, 66 ft wide and 36 ft high, all you can see from the exterior are a few windows on the one facade and the steeple, topped with a Gothic arrow 174 ft high. Benedictine monks were the inspiration for this church carved out of solid rock which is Europe’s largest monolithic cathedral! The jurisdiction of Saint Emilion was listed a Unesco world heritage site in 1999.

As you enter, following a long gallery, one comes across an altar oriented towards the west, rather than the east as is the Christian tradition. The sobriety of the ornamentation stands in stark contrast with the wealth of lessons to be learned from them.

And Learn About The Local Wine

When John ‘Lackland’ succeeded his brother, Richard Lionheart, to the throne of England in 1199, he signed the ‘Falaise Charter’. This accorded Saint Emilion the statute of a free and independent commune, with the right to be administered by a mayor, twelve members of the Jurade (the town council) and twelve advisers elected by the town’s notables.

These councilmen had vast power that included rendering justice. Wine growing was such an important part of the local economy that they also regulated the manufacturing process and the sale of wine, and even publicly announced the start and the end of the grape harvests.

Saint Emilion wines are blended wines that are usually blended with several grape varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. From the village, we organize walking tours and private tours to any of the wine regions of the Bordeaux vineyards. 

Saint Emilion Wine Tours & Day Trips from Bordeaux

Our winery tours will take you to Classified growth Chateaus where you will understand the wine making process and follow a wine tasting tour. Conducted by English speaking guides, expert in Bordeaux wines, we can have you visit any vineyard of Bordeaux including the Pomerol appellation.

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