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City breaks
with Enotourism Opportunities

Published: 05/04/2024

Spring has sprung and we bet your thoughts are turning to travel plans for 2024. We at WCB love a city break. Sign us up for sightseeing, great restaurants and a wine bar or two, and we’re there! Of course, we live in one of the best cities in the world for all these things, and we’ve written previously about wineries to visit near Barcelona. We think nothing can beat a super city break combined with some enotourism to connect with nature and sample great wines, so we’ve rounded up four European destinations that can offer it all. Sun hats at the ready!

Bordeaux

Bordeaux sits on the West coast of France, facing onto the Atlantic and surrounded by some of the world’s most important vineyards. Yes, this is a place of castles (les chateaux) and legends as far as wine is concerned, but it’s also a buzzing cosmopolitan city that feels a little like a miniature Paris. Stroll the boulevards and you’ll come across the Place de la Bourse, the Porte d’Aquitaine and the Grosse Cloche (yep, the Big Clock). If it’s a sunny day, be sure to dip your toes in the Le Miroir d’Eau. Stuff yourself full of canelé by all means, but be sure to leave space for dinner at one of Bordeaux’s many buzzing bistros (we love the Brasserie Bordelaise). Did we mention there’s a wine museum? The Cité du Vin is a wine lover’s paradise, and should whet your appetite for a bit of enotourism…

Enotourism tips: If you’re looking to visit several Chateaux, it would be wise to rent a car. Don’t miss the quaintly beautiful town of St-Emilion on the Right Bank, and be sure to book winery visits ahead of time.

Florence

One of Italy’s most romantic, historic and cultural cities, Florence is a dream getaway for those seeking sightseeing, gastronomy and the piazza lifestyle. Grab a copy of Still Life by Sarah Winman and get inspired. This is the home of the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery; Michelangelo’s David and the Ponte Vecchio. For food lovers, you’ve got to stock up at the Mercato Centrale. Then why not take your spoils to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a picnic with a view? Did we mention you’re right next to the world-famous wine region of Chianti? Yes, Florence is definitely in Wine Country, so you’ll have no trouble finding a fine glass of Sangiovese in the city’s wine bars.

Enotourism tips: Florence is around a 40 minute drive from the heart of Chianti Classico. If you don’t fancy hiring a car, book a guided tour via Get Your Guide or Viator. Then you can sit back, enjoy the ride, and the tasting too!

Seville

It’s always Sherry o’clock in Seville, so as committed #sherrylovers here at WCB, we couldn’t leave this Southern Spanish city off the list. Seville is truly a feast for the senses: flamenco singing and dancing, breathtaking Moorish architecture, bullfighting, the largest cathedral in Spain, and (a true luxury for anyone usually resident in Barcelona) free tapas with your drinks! It’s also a very residential city, with many locals living in the centre, so it’s easy to imagine oneself at home here. Seville is compact enough to explore on foot, so be sure to take the time to wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere. When you’re tired out, it’s time for a cold glass of Fino and a tortita de camaron or a plate of mojama. We’ll see you there!

Enotourism tips: there are direct trains from Seville’s Santa Justa station to Jerez de la Frontera (just over one hour), or El Puerto de Santa María (around one hour and 15 minutes). These are two of the towns in the Sherry Triangle, and abound with bodegas to visit. Book at Bodegas Lustau and Bodegas Tradición in the former, or Gutiérrez Colosía in the latter.

Lyon

I’ve got a serious soft spot for Lyon, having spent my time as an au pair nearby. The city (viciously) rivals Paris as the French capital of gastronomy. It was the adopted home of legendary chef Paul Bocuse, whose name now garlands the world-famous Les Halles food market. His chain of brasseries based on regional cuisine (Le Nord, Le Sud, L’Est and L’Ouest) lives on and offer a taste of every corner of France. The streets around Place Bellecour in the centre are perfect for a little retail therapy, then walk over the Saône to the Basilique Notre-Dame in Vieux Lyon for views of the river and the pretty winding streets of the old town. When you need a break from pounding the pavements, go for a coffee and a macaron at Pignol. Oh, and in 45 minutes, you can be in the Côte Rôtie sampling some Syrah…

Enotourism tips: wine tourism in the Northern Rhône isn’t as developed as in some other destinations, but if you can go by car there’s plenty to be discovered. Driving alongside the river heading South you’ll see the vertiginous slopes to which the vines cling begin to emerge. Call ahead to wineries to make appointments to visit.

Are you feeling the wanderlust? Are your feet starting to itch? Ours are! Factoring in some wine tourism is a great way to get to know a destination, and to better understand its gastronomy and culture. It’s also an opportunity to pick up a bottle or two, and to take a piece of your holiday home with you. What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!

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