As part of the Marathon du Medoc festivities, the day after the run there is a leisurely walk through the vineyards. This is a great opportunity for those who didn’t run to experience the lovely countryside and for those who did run to continue their enjoyment of French wines!
Once again, we took a bus from Bordeaux to the starting point of the walk (balade) at Chateau Larose Trintaudon. The walk was to take place around the southern tip of yesterday’s run, in Haut Medoc and would visit six chateaux before returning back for lunch at Larose Trintaudon.
Firstly we were given our tasting device, a small shallow silver cup called a tastevin. They weren’t going to be large pours… Then after passing the magnificent Larose Trintaudon residence, built in 1870 and described as “dominating the landscape like a lighthouse in an ocean of vines”, we excitedly began the walk.
It was actually quite a long, dusty ramble to the first stop, we were a little thirsty on arrival! The pace had been pretty slow, with any small incline/decline met with shaking legs by some in our party. Luckily some stretches had been performed as part of the warm-up. The first stop was Chateau Belgrave, with a very jovial band.
It was then on to Chateau Camensac, where the wine was being poured by people in vintage dress. We noticed that a much better quality of wine was on offer today, and there was actually information about the various vintages available. Luckily there were also snacks being served, though they looked like some of the leftover biscuits from the marathon – but we weren’t complaining.
The next destination was Chateau La Tour Carnet. We had a long wait for Kt to use the toilets, but this was also the favourite wine we tasted, so we were happy to go back for lots of small pours in our tastevins. One of the wine pourers was even from Australia, a wine professional on a sabbatical.
It was very pleasant to indulge in a few tastes, and then partake in a leisurely stroll to the next chateau. There was no requirement to jolt the body into a jog or worry about time limits and the dreaded sweeper bus! We continued to Chateau Barateau, Chateau La Tour Sieujan and Chateau Cach – each with a few different wines to try and various bands performing.
We were glad to come around the bend of the final vineyard and back to Larose Trintaudon for lunch. The walk was supposed to have been 10km, but with our tired legs, it certainly felt like longer. There were a couple of lunch options – a market place with lots of food stalls and a marque with a full set up for a three course meal.
We were part of the full lunch package, and before heading to the long tables we had our first white for the day (unusual in Bordeaux region). We found four empty chairs at the end of one of the communal tables and got back into the red wines. There were a couple of bottles on every table, from the various wineries. However, the best part was when the bottle was empty, you could fill it from a couple of barrels in the center of the marquee. This was lots of fun and the barrels seemed to be never ending, there were long lines of people getting refills but the barrel didn’t run out!
Lunch was pretty good for large scale catering – we had rolled chicken and crudities for entrée, fish for mains and a yummy coconut dessert. Between courses (depending on the servers), there was lots of action on the dance floor. It was great fun to dance around drunkenly in the afternoon and I have never seen to many sensible shoes (i.e. running shoes) and Garmins on a dance floor!
We drank more wines, took some obligatory selfies with the tower and then all too soon it was back on the bus. It had been another great (boozy) day and again was super well organized, lots of smiling people from around the world and heaps of fun.