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Work hard, drink wine

Getting out of my rut and on the road (Candace)

A couple of days ago, Andrew and I decided to get a rental car for the rest of our time in France.  There is just too much to see here, and without a car, I was feeling pretty stranded.  I was feeling like our honeymoon was being a bit overshadowed with work on the farm, and wanted to be sure that we remembered why we are on this trip, that we need alone time.

So this week, we committed to spending the mornings helping out on the farm and the afternoons exploring the Bordeaux countryside (it is, after all, time to professionally clean those stinky backpacks).

So a couple of days ago, on our first outing, we stopped at the Chateau Laniote and met the owner of this 4th generation vineyard.  He was so charming (he even cut me a rose from his rose garden) and entertained us with magic tricks and a home-made movie showing the wine-making process at the vineyard.  They do everything by hand, and he had such pride and care for their brand.  We’ll definitely be sending some of these bottles home.

We then went on to see the town of St. Emilion, and I absolutely adored it.  The cobblestone streets are lined with wine shop after wine shop, with tastings galore, and the beautiful church can be seen from throughout the town and for miles in every direction.  We sipped a glass of wine at a local shop and then committed to spending more time here this weekend.

And then yesterday, we set off to tour the Chateau St. Georges.  Andrew remembers drinking this wine back in 2010, and was so impressed with it that he wanted to come see the vineyard first hand.  We met Emeline, the wine expert and tour host, and she took us on the “Children’s Tour,” complete with workbook and Q&A.  It was so informative to taste each of the leaves of the plants used to add flavoring to the barrels and to do a blind smell and taste test.  We had so much fun that we gave her a tip, bought some of her wine, and friended her on Facebook.

And today we are heading off to Blaye, a town that Melanie, our host, swears by.  We have to be back tonight to do a haying campaign (where we put bails of hay together from 6-10pm), but then we are planning to spend Saturday night back in St. Emilion. 

We are finally finding some balance between work and play, and all is well with the world.

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