Saint Emilion Half Day Wine Tour From Bordeaux

Experience One of France’s Most Enchanting Villages

Enjoy a walking tour in St. Emilion

Taste fabulous St. Emilion red wines, guided by a knowledgeable hand

English-speaking, hand-picked, local expert guides

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Trip Details

Price:

Morning tour: 70€ per person

Afternoon tour: 75€ per person

NOTE: Adult only tour, not suitable for children under 18 years of age


When:

Available every day

Morning tour:

9:00am to 1:00pm

Afternoon tour:

2:00pm to 6:00pm

April 1st to November 30th 2019


Duration:

4 hours


Trip style:

Shared wine tour
Minimum 2 people, maximum 19
If your group is larger than 8, please get in touch with us.

While a very large majority of the tours take place in 8 seater Mercedes minivans, on certain dates with very high demand, tour will be conducted in VIP Mercedes 19 seater minibus.


Meeting point:

In front of the Bordeaux tourism office, 12 cours du 30 Juillet 33000

Note: Hotel pick-up not available.


Inclusions:
  • English-speaking driver & guide
  • Visit and wine tasting in a carefully selected winery
  • Guided walking tour of the village
  • Travel in recent, comfortable & fully equipped minivans
  • Bottled water in the minivan
  • Free WiFi access on board

Exclusions:
  • Entrance fees to monuments, museums or attractions
  • Meals and drinks
  • Personal insurance or expenses
  • Gratuities for the guide

Experience the Magic of One of Our Favorite Villages

SAINT EMILION HALF DAY TOUR FROM BORDEAUX

A Saint Emilion half-day wine tour combines grand vineyards, guided wine tastings, and a chance to uncover the unique history of this ancient hilltop village.

WINE & HISTORY COMBO ON A SAINT EMILION HALF DAY TOUR

This half day wine tour packs a lot of delights into a few hours. On this tour of St Emilion organized by Ophorus, you will enjoy tasting delicious Bordeaux wines. Add to this the rich historical attractions of this UNESCO World Heritage site and you see why the half day option makes for such a great tour.

Starting in the city of Bordeaux, a short drive in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan brings you out of the city to the picturesque countryside plains and rolling hills of the right bank wine producing area. This is the heart of Bordeaux’s famous wine region, where many vineyards carry the Saint Emilion AOC designation. Each of these local wineries produce vintages with distinct soil features backed by a long wine-making heritage.

Your first major stop on the St Emilion wine tour half day will be in one of the local wineries. Here, you will get to tour and taste different vintages in a carefully selected domain. The wines are a blend of Merlot grapes with deep, bold flavors, along with other local grape varieties, especially Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser degree, Cabernet Sauvignon. An expert English-speaking guide will reveal all the steps in the wine production process for you, as well as share some historical details about the estate.

Following your wine tasting session, the Saint Emilion wine tour half day continues with a tour of the eponymous village. Enjoy a guided walk through the quaint, cobbled streets of this medieval town, while your tour guide recounts local history, from the days of the 8th century hermit Emilion, to the 19th century mining galleries, which still lie beneath the village. It is no coincidence that Saint Emilion has been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status. After the walk, enjoy some free time to explore on your own in the village. Finally, you will head back to Bordeaux where the wine tour concludes after having learned a lot about this famous wine producing area.

A MONK, A CAVE AND CENTURIES OF WINE MAKING

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Dordogne Valley, the picturesque rooftops and medieval stone buildings of Saint Emilion are a delight to the eye. The Saint Emilion wine tour half day brings you to this village at the center of Bordeaux’s biggest and most beautiful wine-growing region. A unique micro climate and Saint Emilion’s fertile soil made the area a haven of wine making. This tradition goes back to the later centuries of the Roman Empire. The first vineyards were planted here in the second century AD. In the fourth century, the Roman poet Ausonius already mentioned the delicious grapes of Saint Emilion.

However, it was in the Middle Ages that monks developed more intensive and widespread vineyards. This is when the reputation for Saint Emilion wines started building towards what it is today. The rich Merlot-based blends of these fertile plains have given local wines a great appeal, and several wines produced in chateaux near Saint Emilion have been given the highest possible awards under the French appellation wine rating system.

As you will find out with a half day St Emilion tour, the village and area are steeped in history. The first indications of human settlements in the area date back to the Roman Empire, but the story of Saint Emilion starts in the eighth century AD. At that time, a monk from Brittany, fleeing persecution in his hometown of Vannes sought refuge in one of the natural caves near the settlement of Ascum Bas. Although he lived the simple and secluded life of a hermit, Saint Emilion allegedly performed several miracles from his Aquitaine hideaway. Soon, his renown spread far beyond the town and region, bringing pilgrims and disciples from far afield to visit him. The small settlement grew fast as it became a religious center. After Saint Emilion died, his followers made sure he would be remembered by giving the town of Ascum Bas the new name Saint Emilion.

History is alive and well, and very visible on any visit to Saint Emilion today. First, don’t miss the impressive Romanesque church, in the heart of the old town. The streets and buildings constituting Saint Emilion medieval village are some of the few surviving examples of a traditional hilltop village in southern France. Largely intact despite the passing centuries, walking through the village literally feels like going back in time.

Walking up the narrow winding streets, you will come to several superb vantage points, which offer sweeping views over the Dordogne Valley. But the village of St Emilion’s main historical attraction is underground. Beneath the village, lies a network of tunnels covering more than 120mi. These tunnels are left over from the many quarries that were exploited in the 19th century to supply rich soil for surrounding farms and vineyards. A further highlight of Saint Emilion, is the underground Monolithic Church. The foundation of the church is built directly into the limestone of the rocky site, a rare construction feat. Only that today, there are also modern cafes with terraces here. By lack of time it will not be possible to visit the monolithic church on this half day tour but if you have more time, this option is possible on a full day private tour.

Good to Know

  • Tour requires minimum 2 passengers (adults) to operate
  • Tour limited to 19 passengers
  • Tour is operated in English
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible
  • Visits in the wineries are not private
  • Adult tour only, minimum 18 yrs old to participate
  • Prices are per person
  • Our standard cancellation policy applies to this tour

The Ophorus Difference

Contagious Enthusiasm – ‘We had the most terrific guide! Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic’ – Virginia B. (Delaware, US)

Flexibility – ‘The guides really took an interest in what WE wanted to do’  Paul C. (UK)

Area Locals – ‘He was so much more than a driver. He really added local color and local flavor.’ Daniel W. (Georgia, US)

Read more about the Ophorus experience.