your next professional visit to Bordeaux, France, be sure to check out city venues that show how an "Old World" wine industry is staying timely and relevant.
Given Bordeaux's history as a winemaking center, the city and region is one of the world's quintessential destinations for serious oenophiles and foodies. However, a few things happened along the way-New World wines and increased competition, among other things. As recently as ten years ago, the city was simply a jumping off point winery tours winding through the countryside, and historic towns like St. Émilion, which is a sort of Disneyland for wine tourists. However, enter the savvy Alain Juppé, Bordeaux's mayor and former prime minister of France, who organized a makeover to the city that would make Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent proud.
The now UNESCO-heritage certified city boasts foodie-focused boutique shopping as well as 40 wine bars that run the gamut from traditional, to ultra-modern, to concepts that unify past and future, as well as some pre-history (i.e., jagged limestone that seems to burst out of the Art Nouveau walls at Grand Bar Castan). Bordeaux wines are also enjoying an international renaissance, evidenced by documentaries such as Red Obsession, a documentary chronicling how Bordeaux's top châteaux are struggling to accommodate demand for their rare, expensive wines in China.
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