The story about our trip to Bordeaux begins at the Paris Montparnass train station, waking up on 5am, taking a taxi that got confused on the way and rushing to the platform. After trying and failing to continue sleeping on the train because some hyperactive Anglo B students and after only 3 and a half hours with the very fast train TGV, we got to Bordeaux’s train station together with the sunrise. It was all foggy and a quite sleepy morning.

Surprisingly we got out of the station and went straight up our bus out of Bordeaux a drive of one hour and a half. We all got the itinerary printed for the trip and it said we’re going to a Nutella factory. When we stopped here:

… we found out it was all one big joke. Nothing in the itinerary is true. Instead we got to the Cadiot Badie chocolate factory which is small and supplies to 2-3 stores only.  We got a whole tour with tasting and explanations. Saw some chocolate dripping from one point to another.

Making Bordeaux's specialty - Cherry with kir covered with chocolate. This thing costs 79 euro a kilo.

Dipping the cherries in chocolate


in the meantime the praline chocolate coming out of the drying machine and ready for tasting

And trying 5 other chocolate varieties

I took a bite of everything: Black tea, almond-pistachio, hazelnuts

And kept the rest for Shane who missed this part of the trip. He was happy.

Then we drove back to the city

Lunch time, Anglo A's private room.

All the main meals in this trip have their own exclusive post, check it out here.

Then a really nice un-guided tour of the city.

Next stop - first wine tasting

Wow what a ceiling

The concept of the place is that you go around with a rechargeable card for tasting and a glass. You try what you want, prices of tasting ranging from 1 to 20 euro and then you can buy whatever bottle you like.

We didn't have the card to taste but instead we had a very attractive guide to talk and explain about the four different wines we tasted

We tried the reds first so that our pallet won't get confused after the whites. The explanations came with a ppt presentation and we took notes

The last one was Sauternes. Sweet!

We took another tour of the city, but this time with a guide and then went to the best meal of the trip for dinner. You can read all about it here.

Next morning, an early rise and grabbing a quick breakfast at the hotel, then taking the bus again to the sea sore. When we got there we had a small walk on the sand but we had no idea what’s waiting for us. Everything kept as a surprise.

At some point the ground we stepped on contained more and more oyster shells

Then we were led to this magical place called "Les Parcs de L'imperatrice"

It was an oyster farm!!

Raising, cleaning, sorting and packing these beloved creatures

Our guide, maybe the owner of the farm, explaining while smoking and chef Sebastien translating

The pool

Bring on the wine, it's 10am already!!

This was defiantly the highlight of the trip for me. He taught us his technique to open the oyster (best technique)

Then showed the differences between few of the species they're raising

The wine was poured, the bread was fresh

There was also a pork paté

Then three of this size oyster baskets were brought to the center of the area and we started working on them.

The guide was so awesome, I asked him to show me again how he opens the oysters and he taught me so well and so patiently until I opened a perfect one. Thank you!

Most of the people were busy eating and drinking while I was opening as many as possible. This is the table we left! I opened this oyster in the front as well. It was the best morning ever. I didn't even notice a group picture was taken without me and everyone getting back on the bus while I was still concentrating on the oysters

From there to our next stop - a boat ride

So beautiful out

On the boat - drinking more wine

Then we reached the picnic lunch chef Girardot cooked for us. It was cold but very original and served in oysters boxes and guess what, with a lot more wine than I can handle. It was a bit of a rush, I wanted to try more wines but this lunch was over so fast so I didn’t get a chance.

Next stop – Perlita caviar farm. Was very interesting to see how this industry is working. The fish is raised from birth to 3 years, then ultrasound to see weather it’s a male or a female. The males are going to be taken for their flesh. The females are getting an electronic chip inside its skin and monitored carefully for the next 3 years. Between the age of 6 and 8 they are being tested with a biopsy occasionally to check if their eggs are ready to harvest. The eggs are being separated, cleaned, salted and packed. Then aged for 1-6 months. Then we enjoy the product which is delicious.

Baby Perlita in a fish tank in the information and tasting center

Going to try some!

Has to be tasted like wine, more then once and trying to introduce air in the mouth

Hmm I like

Going to see the farm, cleaning our boots to prevent contamination

Watching the ultrasound process in action

Looking for females

There was a dog following us around

The farm also re-uses its water after physical and biological filtering. The water are important for the farm, they have to be in the right temperature and mixed from natural hot spring and cold natural water

Next stop, plant nursery, specializes in flowers and leaves with unique flavors and aromas.

Discover new flavors to your cooking

There were plants with funny flavors

The pineapple was awesome and the curry, after eight and coca cola all were interesting. This is actually the gardner whose commercialized the oyster leaves we used in restaurant service. They do taste like oyster!

This flower gives a tingling and numb sensation to the mouth. Great.

This was the last stop of the day before dinner in Solena. Next morning we got to a chicken farm. The chicken is also being treated very seriously here. The ground whose responsible for everything (terroir) is special and they let it rest between cycles before raising new chicks on it. They run free here, until the age of about 5-6 month when the farmer wakes up at 4am, puts on a special goggles, catches a chick and decides if the chicken is ready to harvest. If so, it is then pumpered for a week so that its flesh will be soft and fatty.

The chicken man with his 5 toed white chicken

Naked neck chicken

People come all the way here specially to buy chicken, duck and their products

The next station was another wine tasting, this time in the Chateau Les Ormes Sorbet, Medoc.

Very old bottles of the Chateau

Tasting 5 or 6 different vintages of the Chateau

Pouring all the leftovers to this spitter. I think this is what boxed wine is made of.

After buying a whole box of this wine and drinking it with lunch, we went to yet another wine tasting in a winery that’s not really growing their grapes. It was more of a touristic thing made for Americans.

It's a very new building

The concept is that before going to the huge store to buy wine, there's a wine test to check your "Wine sign".

This wheel helps beginners express the smells and flavors of the wine they're tasting. Some weird things here like "Humus"

Each one's given a remote control to rate the 6 wines that are blindly tasted

Pouring secret wine number 4

After 6 wines, the secret is revealed

Each person gets his "sign" according to the rating and his answers to other questions, together with a list of recommended wines for him to buy at the store.

We didn’t have a lot of time in the store because we were already late for the train back to Paris. So we rushed back to the bus, got stuck in traffic and thought we never gonna make it. 5 minutes before the train was about to leave the platform we got there and ran like maniacs across the station to the platform. No nice goodbye to Bordeaux 🙁

On the train, Stephan with this wine mafia

The train took more than 4 hours on the way back because of a drunk guy in the train bar. Luckily Elizabeth opened her paté she bought in the chicken farm because we were hungry again.

That was it, goodbye to all and see you in 3 month in the diploma ceremony! Next episode in my life – the internship! Ahhh!!

If you want to see more pictures from Bordeaux, you can in this album.

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7 Responses to Bordeaux Field Trip – All The Rest

  1. Nachman says:

    news flash – it’s “flesh” not “flash” – but after a few glasses of wine who can tell the difference…

    flesh – In vertebrate animals, flesh is the colloquial for biological tissue which consists of skeletal muscles and fat as opposed to bones, viscera and integuments.[1] Flesh may be used as food, in which case it is called meat.

    flash – a brief, sudden burst of bright light:

  2. Nachman says:

    who was more interesting: the chicken man? the oyster man? or the caviar ultrasound man?

  3. Ema Irit says:

    נראה טיול מעניין שהכיל גיוון גדול של גידולי אוכל 🙂 🙂 השאלה האם במסעדה שתעבדי בא תוכלי לנצל את הידע של פתיחת אויסטרים?

    • Mashav says:

      מקווה שכן, עכשיו שכרשתי את הידע המתאים.
      אבל ברצינות הסיכוי גדול לדעתי, משתמשים פה בהרבה אויסטר לכל מיני דברים.

  4. […] here about one of the best days of my life, opening and eating unlimited amount of fresh oysters with […]

  5. […] plucked a pigeon, peeled a whole bag of tiny baby shrimps, first time I baked a baguette, had wine and oysters for breakfast and learned to open them by myself, tasted a 40 euro “Bresse” chicken,tried to eat […]

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