SAINT-ÉMILION

If even a lowly gas station has fantastic views like this, I can only imagine what the town itself is like.

When we arrived just before 9 o’clock, there was only one car in the parking lot and the whole town was just starting to wake up. It was an easy Friday morning spent walking around, peeking into empty, open churches playing recorded classical music, onto empty light-filled courtyards, and near-empty streets and alleyways, an incomparable way to see yet another quaint, historic French town overflowing with character.

Not only was Saint-Émilion a photographic horn of plenty, there were tons of beautiful shops and restaurants that proved interestingly tempting – it was clearly a town for those with money to spend. Thankfully we didn’t get in trouble, no pretty lunches – sorry, Hostellerie de Plaisance – and spontaneous wine purchases – the 15K Petrus 1945 was just not in the budget. At least not yet. There’s still time to do a wine tour at Pape Clément in the afternoon and it should be interesting.

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