— words by Winsor Dobbin
Bordeaux is the wine capital of the world; a city of style and charm that hosts Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine fair, and is surrounded by vineyards producing wines in a wide range of styles.
But there is a lot more to Bordeaux than just wine. It is one of France’s most beautiful and historic cities – known as the “City of Art and History' – and has been reinvigorated in recent years by a scheme that has cleaned up the once-grimy city centre. Bordeaux is noted for its 18th-century architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is blooming thanks to the energy of mayor (and ex French Prime Minister) Alain Juppe, in charge since 2006.
The quays along the Garonne River are once more alive and in June Bordeaux marked the official opening of the dramatic Cité du Vin, which is a combined museum, exhibition space, tasting facility and movie theatre devoted to the world of wine. From the Belvedere, 35 metres up, visitors can enjoy 360 degree views of the city.
And is much as Bordeaux is about wine, it is also a great city for foodies, who flock to the Marché de Quais, a superb gourmet producers' market, held every Sunday along the Quai de Chartrons on the riverbank.