Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France. The capital of the Aquitaine region benefits from the fact that all the specialities of southwest France are in its back yard: foie gras from the Landes, oysters from Arcachon Bay, strawberries from the Périgord, Bazaz beef, etc
The city’s nicknames are “La perle d’Aquitaine” (The Pearl of Aquitaine), and “La Belle Endormie” (Sleeping Beauty) in reference to the old center which had black walls due to pollution. Nowadays, this is not the case. In fact, a part of the city, Le Port de La Lune, was almost completely renovated.
Bordeaux is the world’s major wine industry capital, and is home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo. It now has about 116,160 hectares (287,000 acres) of vineyards, 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of approximately 960 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Included among the latter are the area’s five premier cru (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855: The first growths are: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion, Château Mouton-Rothschild.
The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century. Bordeaux has many historic locations to discover. Don’t miss the main monuments such as Pey-Berland Tower, Saint-André cathedral, and Place de la Bourse. If you want to go one step further, and have the time, you might wish to visit the Cité Frugès or Château de la Brède…