Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown – Anthony Bourdain
I arrived at the train station, feeling anxious as we were departing to Bordeaux, and my vineyard stint was about to ensue. It would have been one thing to go stay on a vineyard in Napa, California… but this was France. This was the countryside of France, not the metropolitan city of Paris. This seemed absurd. I did not speak the language, and I didn’t know a soul outside of Paris. I boarded the train and said a little prayer. Good-bye Paris… for now. I stared out the window on the train thinking about the rather gloomy discussion Eddie and I had endured the previous night. Eddie vocalized that he was feeling depressed, and this was really becoming hard on him. The distance between us. I understood, but there was nothing I could do. Short of him coming here, to Paris, I could not offer him any comfort. The sad part was, I was so busy and had been living such a full life in Paris that I doubted I would even have the time to enjoy Paris with him if he were to visit. I knew the inevitable was approaching. We would grow apart, and eventually things would end. My mind flashed back to three weeks before, to my last night with Eddie and the pain, the pain of the last hug, the thought of the last time his strong muscular arms would be wrapped around me. My eyes were beginning to swell, and I felt a tear roll down my cheek. I turned my head abruptly not wanting my classmates to notice.
“Here ya go, a whole lotta cheapness.” Pia, one of my classmates, set down a mini plastic bottle holding 6 oz. of red wine and a plastic cup.
“Cheers!” Everyone twisted the screw caps of their plastic wine bottles.
Apparently we were drinking our last mediocre wine on the 4-hour train ride to Bordeaux. I instantly snapped out of my racing thoughts of Eddie, and participated in the cheap wine drinking.
Four hours later, we had arrived in Bordeaux. The weather was rainy and damp, and I was feeling relaxed and a bit sleepy from the red wine. My vineyard was called Chateau Gaillard, and it was located five miles near the town of Saint Emilion in the Bordeaux region. We all departed the train and gave hugs wishing each other luck. I met Catherine, the woman who owned the vineyard. Her and I immediately got to talking and I buckled up in the front seat of her car. Catherine spoke a little English and on the car ride over she started to explain to me that she runs not only Chateau Gaillard, but two other vineyards as well. All of her vineyards and land are located in the Saint Emilion region labeled “Grand Cru” by French appellation control standards. In France, most of Europe and the Old World of wine there is a classification system built to mark quality. Saint Emilion is a region known for having great terroir and producing wonderful wines. However, also important is the wine maker’s skill and ability to produce a great wine. Catherine had been awarded Grand Cru.
To learn more about Grand Cru check out my latest champagne review here!