Several centuries after the Romans planted the first vines here this hill was occupied during the Arab incursions and the vineyards still bear the name Gazin, a corruption of ‘Saracen’. Anne-Sophie and Alain Lancereau came here in 2003, transformed the wine of Bellevue Gazin, and created a charming chambres d’hôtes in the turn-of-the-century house where they entertain wine-lovers, artists and gastronomes.
Fifteen hectares of Premières-Cotes-de-Blaye vineyards cover the west-facing côte that slopes down towards the village of Plassac. Yields are low and chemical treatments are kept to an absolute minimum. The wines are modern and clean with a delicious fruit, silky tannin, and a subtle, aromatic oak.
A short drive away are the towns of Bourg and Blaye; each a fortified seaport, the latter’s impressive 17th-century citadel built by the Marquis de Vauban was recently named a UNESCO world heritage site. Also at Blaye is the ferry known as le bac which takes cars and passengers across the broad Gironde to the Médoc and the high-duned beaches of the Atlantic coast.