Bordeaux and St Emilion are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. When I was a student in Bordeaux in the early 80s, the summers were scorching hot and everything had to be done by 10.00am otherwise it was simply too hot to venture outdoors. House shutters would remain firmly closed until the evening when at last they would be opened. Not much has changed today and one could argue that with global warming, the summers are even hotter.

 

The vines will be resplendent in the summer months but the grapes will not ripen until the early autumn (early to mid September). I am a fan of all the seasons and to me Bordeaux and St Emilion retain their beauty and charm whatever the temperature.

 

However it is worth noting that not all châteaux will welcome tourists in the colder months, i.e. winter and spring. Don't let this be a deterrent- drop us a line with your preferred dates and hopefully we'll be able to push open a few doors.

 

May is a quieter (and cooler) month which is not as busy with hordes of tourists.

 

How to dress on wine and walking tours:

 

I think it was Steven Speilberg who said the one piece of advice he would pass on is to wear comfortable shoes. I couldn't agree more. Wearing comfy shoes means you will have a lot more energy. Think trainers and forget fashionable heels.Vineyard tours include walking amongst the vines and if it has rained, your shoes will get dirty.

 

Wear layers. Being so close to the Atlantic sea, Bordeaux and St Emilion are notorious for unexpected rain and gusts of cold wind on occasion. A good waterproof jacket with a hood is a must. Cellars are cold and damp: the average temperature inside a cellar is 13 degrees celsius (55 farenheit). Make sure to wear a jumper and gloves (except in high summer). See the photo alongside- layers, secure purse, foldable umbrella in waterproof jacket pocket and comfortable shoes. Scarf because I'm a bit of an artist!

 

Bring a foldable umbrella for the changeable weather.

 

Eat a good breakfast. Touring vineyards means tasting wine and you don't want to be doing that on an empty stomach!

 

Don't forget your camera but it is always advisable to ask if you can take photographs.

 

Bottled water for the tours. Vineyards can be in the middle of nowhere with no shops closeby. Note that tap water is very drinkable and extremely safe.

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