Tim Cowley was an ex-professional rugby player from New Zealand made the leap to Europe in 2003. He had a passion for wine and France, so after retiring from rugby in 2012, he decided to follow his passion. Cowley – who has held the number one spot for wine tour companies on TripAdvisor since 2015 – will be celebrating the Rugby World Cup with a glass or two of quality Bordeaux wine, and shared a few insights about the region.
On Arcachon: Arcachon in the south-west is renowned for gastronomy. Visitors only visit the area’s vineyards; they miss out on the outstanding oysters. Allow a few days to visit the seaside.
On the Bordeaux region: Bordeaux , which will be one of the host cities for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, became a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site in 2007. The Old City and its cobbled streets are all very accessible. You’ll encounter a 12th, 13th or 14th century building every 100 metres. Don’t miss Le Palais Gallien, the ruins of a once-large Roman amphitheatre dating back to the third century.
On wine tours: There are over 8,000 châteaux in Bordeaux, covering almost as much area as the total vineyard area in Australia. My company, Rustic Vines Tours (rusticvinestours. com/en), has an office in the centre of the historic wine village of Saint-Émilion, which is a great place to start exploring on one of our electric bike tours.
New Zealand-born Tim Cowley now runs Rustic Vines -Rustic Vines Tours Billant
Our tours are popular with a range of age groups. Tour by e-bike, picnic in the château grounds, or take a walking tour of the old town in Bordeaux. Enjoy wine and good fresh local French produce on our tours. In the past 15 years Bordeaux has had a stunning makeover. Today it’s a city that’s fresh and rich with history.