I've ridden horses since I was nine; I've even owned a few. And I started drinking wine about 10 years later; some of my favorites, then and now, have been the wines of Bordeaux. So when a friend told me about a tour company that offered weeklong rides through the vineyards of Bordeaux, it certainly sounded like a dream come true.
I pictured myself astride a great Arab stallion, trotting through the vineyards of legendary châteausLafite-Rothschild, Cheval Blanc and Château Ausonestopping perhaps for a tasting or two. I'd see Bordeaux not as a tourist, but the way that its vignerons did: from the ground up. I signed on for the trip that took place in October, a beautiful though meteorologically dicey month in Bordeaux (i.e., it rains a lot).
It was raining when I arrived in St-Emilion Sunday morning20 minutes and $100 in cabfare from the airport. (Why couldn't the horses have met us at the gate?) Although St-Emilion, a stunning walled town dating back to the eighth century, is widely acknowledged as one of the world's most beautiful wine towns, it's less commonly credited as being ground zero for great macaroon shopping. A walk down its streets revealed St-Emilion's wine buyers to be nearly outnumbered by its cookie connoisseurs.