Each year, the glamorous city of Bordeaux, hub of the world-famous wine region, plays host to the annual Bordeaux Wine Festival in June. Five days of festivities take place from 14 to 18 June along the river quays, which are always abuzz with winemakers, château owners and oenophiles from around the world.
Push the Boat Out at the Bordeaux Wine Festival
Wend Your Way Down the Wine Route
There can be no better way to taste the vinous produce of the region than strolling along the festival’s 2km Wine Route along the banks of the Garonne, past the eighteenth-century mansions that line the river. With tasting booths, two-hour workshops run by master oenologists and daily entertainment, there is plenty enjoy with a tasting pass.
The Tall Ships Regatta
To celebrate its twentieth anniversary in 2018, the festival hosts the final leg of the Tall Ships Regatta. This prestigious race was designed in order to encourage sailing in traditionally rigged vessels of all sizes, both by seasoned sailors and by young people who want to find their sea legs. Thirty-three sailing ships are moored at the Port de la Lune, giving festival-goers the opportunity to see these magnificent vessels up close.
Of particular note is the Etoile du Roy, which is an impressive reconstruction of a 1745 British frigate that sailed at the Battle of Trafalgar – complete with 20 guns in full working order! Lovers of historical television drama may recognise it as the setting for Hornblower, which was filmed onboard in the 1990s.
At 114 metres long and as tall as a cathedral, the colossal Kruzenshtern is also a sight to behold. This four-masted Russian barque was built by the German navy in 1926 as a cargo vessel, but was reappropriated by the USSR in 1946 after World War Two and subsequently carried out scientific missions across the world.
Vines and Sea Vessels
The Bordeaux Wine Festival marries two elements that we are passionate about at European Waterways: wine and watercraft. If you are lucky enough to be in the city for it, be sure to go down to the quayside to explore. If you’re not, then perhaps its time to consider your own wine cruise aboard our newly revamped Luxury Hotel Barge Rosa.