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Sipping & Sailing through Bordeaux - Day 6

Day 6

We had a relaxing morning as we sailed downstream, arriving in Pauillac, which includes three of the five Premier Grand Cru châteaux of Bordeaux. We explored the famous grounds at Rothschild and also saw the circular tower of Château Latour, which is regarded as the top Bordeaux vineyard in the world owned by Groupe Artémis. Our adventure continued as we drove on to Margaux, where we enjoyed a wine tour and tasting at Château du Tertre. The winery was beautiful, but I especially liked leaning about the concrete egg shaped vat.

Fun facts about fermentation and aging wine...The French oak barrel is more commonly used during the maturation period, but it does influence the wine. Concrete, however; is also a semi-porous substance, so the aging is similar to a barrel but it preserves the purity without imparting oak aromas or flavors in the wine. This is different from stainless steel, while it is also considered a neutral vessel it doesn't allow for the wine to breathe. Air cannot come in or out of the container or interact with the wine over time. The practice of using concrete is very common in Chile and Argentina and is starting to spread to more and more regions.

The highlight of the day however, was touring the famous grounds at Château Margaux, bringing the other evening full circle. We unfortunately were not invited in for a tasting, but as I mentioned before I was fortunate enough to enjoy a bottle on the ship and it definitely lived up to its reputation!

Keeping with the theme of the day- hunting for amazing châteaux and sipping great wine, we ended the evening with a special dinner off the boat at Château Kirwan, where they pulled out all the stops. The four course dinner included a beautiful wine pairing from their estate, including a vintage from 1998. The grapes even carried over into the chocolate dessert which was served with a red wine ice cream. A perfect ending to a wonderful day!

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