The fruits of the vine

We started our day Sunday in the little village of Sainte-Bazeille, where the 32nd annual strawberry festival was taking place.

By accident, and due to our learned tendency to grab parking where we can, we ended up closer to the race that was being held with the fair. A bit hot to run, but that didn’t stop anyone.

When we got to the actual center of the village, we saw a street fair like the ones you see everywhere – just with better food! The young girls were shaking their hearts out and the old men were shaking their heads. And the food choices looked fabulous, but nothing smells as wonderful as fresh strawberries next to the bakery. Yum!

After gathering all the berries we could carry, we went on to our official destination of the day, Saint Emilion. A mecca for wine-lovers, it was filled with many of them on this gorgeous Sunday. We finally found a home for the car, and then joined the throngs admiring the shops and restaurants.

The story here is wine, and not just any wine. Saint Emilion is a very special appellation, and even we know it. We had some at lunch, and then went on a walking tour to a nearby vineyard for a better understanding of the ranking system for St. Emilion wines, and to see how the wine is made and stored.

We went to a very small winery, Clos Madeline, and the young proprietor – or their son – gave us the description of the road a grape travels to become a proper St. Emilion wine.

In the process, we got to sample three versions, so we are now experts. Be warned.

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