Vivere a Bordeaux: Cose da fare e vedere a Bordeaux, Gironda, Francia
Bordeaux, The World's Most Prestigious Wine Region
Some of the world’s wealthiest individuals own some of the world’s most expensive real estate in this region, and yet it is all outside the urban area with respect to famous Bordeaux châteaux.
Architecturally, Bordeaux feels very much like Paris with “Haussmann-esque” boulevards and tree-lined cobbled streets opening out into stunning café-filled squares and plazas. Indeed some of the city was inspired by designs of Haussmann, who was a resident in Bordeaux during the 1850s.
The city became a powerful merchant trading area in the 14th Century, centering on its strategic waterways and the natural port with its access to the Atlantic. By the 19th Century it was at its peak as a center of European trade; wine of course dominated its core export to the world, which in 1875 totaled 1.5 million hectoliters (it is 1.8 million today). The wealth generated by this era is evident as the visitor walks the streets of the grand city. Its €2 billion renovation was started by Mayor Alain Juppé in 1995 and once complete, its city center became Europe’s largest UNESCO-listed area (1,810 classified hectares). St Emilion is also a UNESCO-listed area and, in many ways it is the region's wine capital, sitting in the middle of some of the most prestigious and beautiful vineyards in the world.
The first known vineyards date back 2,000 years and it was most likely the Romans who identified and exploited the natural environment and climate so well-suited to wine growing. Bordeaux is the world's largest wine region—there are approximately 120,000 hectares of vines here. Assuming a planting density of 6,000 vines per hectare (a conservative estimate—some properties will plant at 8,000 or even 10,000 vines per hectare) that makes for at least 720 million vines in Bordeaux alone, all pruned annually, each one by hand.
Bordeaux has 57 wine appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux, and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of approximately 850 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world, that combined creates an industry of some €14.5 billion per annum.
The name Bordeaux suggests proximity to water, referring to the massive Garonne and Dordogne rivers that converge in the Gironde estuary, as well as the Atlantic Ocean only 40 kilometers to the west. Wine lovers and those seeking the perfect French lifestyle will continue to visit and move to this charming region for years to come.
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