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Roman Wine Caves in Bordeaux at Chateau Reynier

by Nannette Eaton on April 7, 2012

I looked out across
The river today
I saw a city in the fog and an old church tower
Where the seagulls play
I saw the sad shire horses walking home
In the sodium light
I saw two priests on the ferry
October geese on a cold winter’s night
And all this time, the river flowed
Endlessly to the sea

The teachers told us, the Romans built this place
They built a wall and a temple, an edge of the empire
Garrison town,
They lived and they died, they prayed to their gods
But the stone gods did not make a sound
And their empire crumbled, ’til all that was left
Were the stones the workmen found

And all this time the river flowed
In the falling light of a northern sun

“All This Time” by Sting from the album Soul Cages

The wine caves at Château Reynier are transfixing. We arrived on an unseasonably warm late-autumn day; the caves were welcoming, enveloping us with their cool embrace. The caves were first excavated 2000 years ago, during the Roman occupation of Gaul. Later, in the 15th century, as the caves were expanded, the limestone was used to build the family farmhouse. Words and pictures can’t adequately describe how awe-inspiring the cave was. Limestone and earth protecting the precious barrels of Bordeaux, infusing the wine with two millennia of history and heritage. The walls whispering secrets only ghosts can hear. Then walking back into the sunshine and heat, the spell is broken…until you uncork the next bottle of Bordeaux and the enchantment returns.


Wine caves at Chateau Reynier with owner/oenologist Marc Lurton.
photo credit: EatonAlive ©2011
The Wine Harlots brush with history was part of a press tour sponsored by Planet Bordeaux.