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Biking St. Emilion & Bordeaux Vineyards in France

May 12, 2009

old fashion bicycle in Saint Emilion, France, Bordeaux Penny Farthing, High wheeler, 1800's

A stunning area of France, filled with surprises, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world! Absolutely perfect for family travel, with something for everyone! We were based in St. Emilion,  a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with it's charming, medieval old town, vineyards all around and underground galleries plus catacombs.

June is a perfect time to be there before the crowds arrive. The campsite, Domaine De La Barbanne, was one of our favorites in Europe, nestled in the heart of Saint-Emilion's world class vineyards. They had 2 swimming pools, a lake, tennis courts, restaurant and even cottage rentals for those without an RV or tent ( like most campsite in Europe). I think it was far superior to any hotel stay for family travel.

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We met a lovely family from Scotland on holiday there and Mozart had great fun with her new friend and catching baby ducks! It is a perfect place to do lots of bike rides amongst the vineyards, relax, swim, do wine tasting and enjoy great food in a beautiful environment.

This is the second in our series of videos of vineyards around the world. You can see our first one that we released this past January about Alsace at harvest time, here. We also have the unique vineyards from Santorini in this video.



One of the surprises were these old fashion bikes that went by while we were touring in the old town one day! I was happy to catch this shot just as the big one went by. I'll be adding more stories and photos from our fun time there, but here are a few. If you are looking for some great wine travel guides check out these from a friend of mine on Twitter. Or watch this video by Gary Vaynerchuk (another friend from Twitter) who does the popular  Wine Library TV and get a little taste of tasting in Bordeaux.

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The wine of course, is legendary and we all enjoyed that, even Mozart... imitating her dad at a tasting, with her water!
Mozart has been playing in vineyards since she was five months old, but we did not realize she would find wine tasting rituals around the world  so much fun to experience, at such a young age. She adores it! Don't hesitate to mix vineyards and viticulture with a family vacation!

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Mozart helps her dad, DaVinci, in our California vineyard when she was 5 months old! She only weighed about 10 lbs at the time & people would literally gasp when I put her down on her own, but she has always been a mover, ready to get on with life and be out  in nature discovering.

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Mozart at 6 months old dashing all over the vineyard, helping dad.

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Mozart picking grapes in our vineyard at 13 months old.

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Mozart at 2 getting into our vineyard grapes again!

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Mozart playing in the vineyard during autumn's first big rain post harvest.

Before having children, we never considered mixing our love of viticulture with a child, but Mozart took to it all like a duck to water, as children raised on vineyards always have. It's been a wonderful addition to our world tour with great home school benefits. How many of you have done or considered vineyard vacations with kids?

I've just added this to the photo Friday on Deliciousbaby! Come join in the fun!

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Kerry

Love this post! That video is great and those photos of little Mozart are so cute.

Nadine Touzet

Great post. I love Saint-Emilion (both the place, and the wine).

Erica

Sounds/looks like you had a great time in Bordeaux.

I love those last pictures of Mozart. It's impressing that she helped her dad in the vineyard when she was ONLY 5 months old!

nomadicmatt

bordeaux is lovely. I really enjoyed my time there last year. Your pictures are lovely too. Congrats on drinking such great wine cheap...its bloody expensive here in asia

Caitlin

Awesome pic of the Penny Farthing bicycle!

Soultravelers3

Kerry-Thanks, so glad to get your feedback. Can't wait to see you on this side of the pond. ;) Don't miss this fantastic campsite & skip the busy season! ;)

Nadine Touzet- Merci! Lucky you in France- who can enjoy it any time so easily! ;)

Erica-Thanks! We really enjoyed ourselves there, more than we had expected. I think Mozart is probably the only 5 month old, under 10 pound viticulturist in the world. LOL. That is why I made sure I got those pics!

I even have pics of her on him in a baby bundler wrap ( so he looked pregnant) while he worked on the vineyard as she slept on his bare chest at just a few days old.

Moving helped her sleep longer, he needed to work on new vineyard & I got to rest. Lol. These are the things that happen when a baby shows up the same year as a new vineyard!! ;)

Nomadicmatt- Thanks! You know it is funny, we don't really drink that much wine. We love vineyards, we love to taste & learn, but we mostly drink now just on special occasions. Probably due to combo of young, super active kid and old parents. LOL. We did find some great wines there though & had such fun. I didn't even know wine was expensive in Asia!

Soultravelers3

Caitlin-Thanks! It happened very suddenly, out of the blue, so I was pleased as punch that I lucked out with this shot. There were a bunch and they were all dressed up, but I think they were leaving by the time we saw them and they were gone in an instant.

This guy just lined up perfectly as the shop girls came to look & I had my camera in my hand. ;)

Beth Whitman

I love these photos for their slice of life feeling in France!

Fun Lilliy

Oh visiting this area has been a dream of mine.. I just love vineyards.. and Bordeaux.. is on my list.. lovely family photos.. these moments are always so precious.. thanks for sharing and great information for sure will looking back at them when I finally be able to go there.. my last trip to a vineyard has been to Tuscany Chianti 07

Lorraine

All of the pictures are wonderful, but I'm especially taken with the one of the campsite. So cozy and pristine! Makes me want to dust my camp gear off!

Bridget Smith

This is very cute! I'm sure that a vineyard is a child's paradise, all those rows to explore and juicy grapes!

marina villatoro

It looks like a fairytale land. So it's no surprise about the bikes, I guess. You know, looking at your photos, and seeing other European photos, it really makes sense why so many poets and artists come from here. I'm neither, but would be inspired to whip out a poem or a song:)
Photo Friday - Costa Rica Independence Day

Heatheronhertravels

There are vineyard in the most interesting places - On Zakynthos where my sister lives of course everyone has a few vines and makes their own wine, but I've heard there are also some good wines being made professionally there. I'm off to Lebanon soon where they make some fine wines in the Bekaa valley

Dominique

One of the best days I remember from our walking tour of the Basque country was the day we spent in the vineyards, tasting grapes straight from the vines! These photos remind me of that time...and I love the bike photo! Imagine trying to keep your balance on that and those rough streets!

trekdigest

A beautiful site!

agentcikay/cikic

wonderful blog and excellent post.. you make me want to go to St Emilion, drink fine wine and ride that old fashioned bike!

soultravelers3

Thanks Beth! That's one of the great things about slow travel, we get to experience those slices of life. ;)

FunLilly - I'm sure you will really enjoy it when you go!

Lorraine - It is one of our fave campsites! You can always just stay in a bungalow there if you are not into camping!

Bridget- Vineyards certainly are and were for our kidlet and I think they would be for anyone. So fun to pick the sweet fruit! Mozart loved it as a baby and still loves it at almost 10 now!

Marina- Never thought of that, but you are probably right!

Heather - Hope you had fun. Vineyards and tasting is always interesting.

Dominique - There is just something fascinating about vineyards, isn't there?

soultravelers3

Trek - Thanks so much! Glad to know you like it.

Cikic - Ha! Thanks so much. You will love it all and the food too! ;)

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