Celebrate Bordeaux with Steve McCurry

France means three things — good food, great wine and grandiose architecture. Each of the three can be found across the country, but Bordeaux in western France is really where the trinity comes into its own. And, with the grape harvest calling, Bordeaux was where Steve McCurry found himself one September. Unique to French culture, the la vendange is the fruition of a full year of planning and hard work, as well as a spectacular time to be in the vineyards.

Like any fine vintage, wine produced in the Bordeaux region has its own taste and character; it has a complex structure and is a delicate blend of humor, style and promise. This was the first visit for the well-traveled photographer and McCurry was eager to drink it all in — in every sense! His experience illustrates how visiting during the grape harvest is one of the best things to do in Bordeaux.

A chateau visit and city exploration

His trip began in the lovely region of Médoc, home to the famous Chateau Margaux. Ordinarily closed to the public, the exclusive chateau threw open its doors and invited McCurry for a tasting tour of its cellars upon hearing of his interest. Despite it being the busiest time of the year for the vineyard, he was treated to the very best they had on offer.

It was then on to the city itself. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007 (and winner of 2015’s best European destination title), Bordeaux is its own eponymous attraction. Graceful streets, grand places centrales and beautiful bridges make up the city. Captured through this photographer’s masterful lens, there can be few more graceful urban sights in France than the miroir-d’eau reflecting the splendid Palais-de-la-Bourse at dusk.

The resulting images from the trip are a delicate balance of elegance and dignity, but with added fruitiness — definitely for immediate drinking.

As delightful as are its wines, the city of Bordeaux is also enchanting. Photo by Steve McCurry
Tasting wine among the casks in Bordeaux. Photo by Steve McCurry
Bordeaux is surprisingly close to the sea. Photo by Steve McCurry
The Water Mirror, in the heart of Bordeaux, is essentially a broad fountain that you can walk through. Photo by Steve McCurry

Get to know Steve McCurry

Capturing the authentic beauty of the world is Steve McCurry’s mission. He has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture, yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the “Afghan Girl” — the eloquence of her haunted expression telling the world of her fate through her vivid green eyes — so powerful. McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, the National Press Photographers Award and four first-prize awards from the World Press Photo contest. Partnering with Steve was a natural choice for Silversea. He is a born storyteller with the soul of an explorer. His images not only take you on a journey, they inspire you to travel the world. To learn more about the partnership between McCurry and Silversea visit: www.steveandsilversea.com

Are your sights set on Bordeaux? Check for European sailings calling on this exceptional port.