Bordeaux is synonymous with its greatest export: wine. Bordeaux wines have commanded respect worldwide since Roman times, when vines were first cultivated in the region. The first winery is said to have emerged around AD 37-38. The lush green countryside captures perfectly the meaning of the French saying la douceur de vivre: 'the sweetness of living'. To the east lie the vineyards of Route de Medoc and the charming medieval town of St-Emilion. The North hosts white-sand beaches on the Atlantic coast. The region is also a major stop on the fabled pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella.
The city of Bordeaux itself is on the rise. Bordeaux is consistently voted one of the best French cities for young people to live in, and has the largest number of preserved historical buildings in France, aside from Paris. The city is tucked into a bend of the Garonne River and houses stone-sculpted palaces, 18th century wine-merchant mansions, and stunning contemporary architecture such as the decanter-shaped La Cite du Vin. Bordeaux features several interesting museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Musee D'Aquitaine, featuring exhibits of Gallo-Roman statues and relics dating back some 25,000 years.
Wine connoisseurs looking to take home some of their favourite bottles from the region would do well to buy directly from the wine farms. However, shops such as La Vinotheque on cours du XXX Juillet, or L'Intendant and Badie on allees de Tourny are good alternative options. The city also plays host to the world's most famous wine fair, Vinexpo, every two years.