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Saint Emilion is known for its history as well as its wines. The vineyards date back to Roman times and the beautiful medieval town is perched atop a limestone outcrop that hides one of Europe's largest monolithic churches. This combination of wine, history and beautiful vineyard countryside resulted in Saint Emilion being the first wine region listed as a Unesco heritage site.
Despite this long history, Saint Emilion has always been at the forefront of wine innovation. It boasts the first quality charter for wines with the creation of the Jurade here in the 12th century and a classification of its wines that is updated (more or less) every 10 years since its creation the 1950s. The tradition of smaller and family owned vineyards made Saint Emilion a hot bed for innovation in wine making in the 80s. It was here that the original garage wine movement started.
The properties here are also extremely innovative in wine tourism. Saint Emilion Best of Wine Tourism Winners include Chateau de Ferrand, Chateau la Dominique, Château Fombrauge, Chateau Soutard and Château Cantenac.
This innovation spread to the creation of the first edition of the Saint Emilion Jazz Festival in 2011. You know France loves its wine and its food but did you know about its love of Jazz? The very first international jazz festival was held in Nice in 1948 and they haven't looked back since.
The Saint Emilion Jazz Festival is now a successful annual event; this year sees the 7th edition.
For three days this summer there will be dancing in the streets; the old moat will be a pop up concert hall and the 14th century Salle des Jacobins, once a monastery, will be a pop up cinema. Over 20 different musicians and groups will play in the town from 20-22nd July. There will be plenty to eat too with food trucks every evening and an outdoor market.
There will of course be wine. Several Best of winners are sponsors of the event including Château Soutard who will host a musical tasting in the cellars on the afternoon of the 21st
Research suggests that music improves with wine and wine with music - this is the perfect opportunity to find out for you.