Camille Le Chapelier
Grand Saint-emilionnais Tourist Information Centre
Is the chance to discover the wine from SaintEmilion and its neighbouring villages only reserved for connoisseurs? CC:
Beginners and connoisseurs are all catered for here at the “Saint-emilionnais”, thanks to the numerous estates that love sharing their knowledge and savoir-faire with them. In fact, many offer the opportunity to find out about the process of winemaking, from the vine to the blend. On top of that you can visit their wine cellars; everything is laid bare to the visitor! Wine lovers will appreciate the chance to engage directly with the estate owners in the numerous family-owned chateaux, others may prefer to admire the underground cellars and other architectural vestiges that have been left from yesteryear.
How might you reconcile a wine tour with the discovery of the local heritage? CC:
Patrimonial monuments can be found everywhere, especially in the heart of the medieval citadel of Saint-emilion. There is nothing more pleasant than taking the time to meander along the paved streets while making your way to the 11th century monolithic church that is entirely carved into the rock. It is the largest underground religious building in Europe. The outlying villages also possess patrimonial treasures such as Saint-georges’ and Saint Martin’s churches in Montagne or the windmills of Calon. Some wine estates- like Château Monbadon in Puisseguin- allow visitors to take a tour of their architectural attractions.
Are there any activities that take you off the beaten trail? CC:
You have a variety of options for when you visit Saint-emilion: horse-drawn carriage, tuk-tuk or even segway, the electronic vehicle on two wheels that is steered by using your body weight. Beyond the wine and local heritage, Saint-emilion is also known for its gastronomical excellence. The macaroon is a local speciality, and there are various different options for eating out. From an intimate wine bar to Michelin-starred restaurants: all budgets are catered for. There is also a wealth of walking and cycling trails throughout the area.
In Saint-emilion, the winemaking and historical heritage the surrounding area are open to visitors. Since arriving in the south-west from his native Brittany 5 years ago, Camille Le Chapelier has put his fresh outlook into creating authentic tours.