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Trip Report The Bilbos go buying 60 bottles of wine or “Art is our spinach”

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First of all thanks to everyone who gave us some good ideas on where to visit on the French west coast, in La Rioja and especially for Maribel's list which gives great Rioja.

http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/wine-buying-in-rioja-and-bordeaux-ideas-please.cfm

The plan was to take a ferry across to St Malo from Portsmouth, drive our way slowly south until we reach the Haut Medoc and spend three nights at Chateau Rousseau de Sipian for a bit of luxury before continuing down into the Basque country, then Rioja, north to Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque :-) ) and finally sailing back to Portsmouth. The trip takes a couple of weeks and is in September to avoid the summer heat and take advantage of most school kids being back at school.

Mrs Bilbo and I can both speak French to a reasonable level, Mrs B can speak a little Spanish (Castilian) but neither of us have any Basque. We are trialing using the App “here” (as suggested on Fodors) for car guidance along with Michelin maps from around 40 years ago (available in all good charity shops for 20p).

Last year we bought white wine so this year the focus has to be red. Being British we are limited to only buying large quantities of wines in say 3 or 4 countries for driving purposes. It's tough but we have to limit ourselves to Spain, France and Germany. For those who don't know most of our holidays are bicycle or wine orientated. This time, just a car, though ours has a cellar and an under cellar. For those who missed it:

http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/the-bilbos-go-buying-90-bottles-of-wine.cfm

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