The Saint-Émilion Jurisdiction is an outstanding example of historical vineyards that have survived andhave been intact and in useup to now. Even today the landscape, embellished with historical monuments both in the cities and in the smaller towns, is entirely dedicated to wine. In 1999 the Old Jurisdiction of Saint-Émilion - which includes has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Viticulture was introduced by the Romans in the fertile region of Aquitaine (the “land of water” of the Roman empire) and later intensified in the Middle Ages. Here the glance of the Atlantic coast alternates with that of the Pyrenean peaks and with the harmony of the valleys of the Dordogne and the Garonne, the two great rivers that can be partially covered on comfortable boats. Added to this are the prehistoric caves, lush hills covered with woods and endless vine carpets, castles perched on the ridges of the mountains, ancient villages and historic centers of exceptional interest, built in the luminous white stone of Quercy.
Since the XI century, thanks to its fortunate placement along the route of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, many churches, monasteries and shelters have been built here. The Jurade was established in 1199, during the period of the British government, by King John Without Earth, in exchange for some privileges on the territory.
The area, located in the north-east quarter of the Gironde, on the slopes that dominate the valley crossed by the river Dordogne, is an important wine area of the Bordeaux area. The vineyards benefit from a particular microclimate and a soil of unique quality. Slopes, terraces, plateaus alternate over a total area of 5400 hectares with a total production of about 250000 hectoliters. The diversity of “terroirs” - composed of rock fragments, sand, gravel, clay and silt - goes well with well-defined vines (especially Merlot and then Cabernet, in the two types Franc and Sauvignon) giving life to theSaint-Emilion and Saint- Emilion Grand Cru AOC.
Must see attractions: Saint-Emilion, a medieval city with a monolithic and Romanesque church, the paintings of the Trinity chapel and the secrets of the catacombs. There is also the underground Museum of the Pottery, in the quarry whose stones were used in the XII and XIIIn centuries to build the city walls, and the Ecomuseo del Libournais, in the village of Montagne, to discover the civilization of the vine and wine of the territory.