If someone traveled to Bordeaux in a dream, they will wake up to astonishing blue sea, lush French countryside and most definitely a taste of the world’s best wines. And if someone was to travel to Bordeaux in reality, Rustic Vines blends all these elements into what Trip Advisor has been calling the number one Wine tour in Bordeaux for last three years in a row.
The wine capital of the world, Bordeaux, has maintained this status for the last two hundred years and does not reveal its secrets. The flavourful world of Bordeaux’s wine culture can only be enjoyed in the company of someone who has been accepted by the city as its own…
You might not know, but Rustic Vines was founded by Tim Cowley, an ex-professional Rugby player, wine enthusiast, sea lover, and most importantly a committed Francophile.His tour business is a combination of the love of grapes, local knowledge, and tourist curiosity. Tim himself was an outsider once and knows exactly what attracts visitors to Bordeaux. Thanks to Tim’s passion, his team knows exactly what makes a tour truly rewarding, and this understanding is the true spirit of this wine tour business.
While playing professional Rugby in the UK, Tim desired to play in the French Top 14 that brought him to France about six years ago. He was presented with an opportunity soon after to play with Bourgoin Jallieu, which he did for a full three years until he finished his pro rugby career in 2012. Free to answer to the call of the sea now, he soon found himself in Bordeaux visiting a friend… This trip would totally change his life, as he fall in love with the city like thousands of others before him, and decide to stay for good!
Yet how could a wine lover be in the very city of wine and not explore? It was only a handful of years ago that Tim borrowed a friend’s car and went on his first ever wine tour around Bordeaux. Needless to say the beaches, the wine culture and the French village life, all left a deep impression on him. So he decided to share this thrilling, and tasteful adventure with everybody and Rustic Vines came into existence. It’s no surprise that a Rustic Vines tour by the one and only Tim Cowely quickly became a major tourist attraction in Bordeaux. Tim’s fun-filled tours introduce tourists to the intricacies of Bordeaux’s world famous wine culture, excellent food, and wonderful local life. Although it’s not just about drinking tasty wine; Rustic Vines teaches novice and expert connoisseurs the right wine drinking etiquette, all with the luxuriant rusticity of a French village backdrop.
In addition to great wine and excellent food, there is also the satisfying comfort of a close-knit community of English speaking expats in Bordeaux. Tim is quick to claims that his journey could not have been the same without support from this unique groupe of native anglophone bordelais. In fact, the support and affectionate friendship of the expat community has been an important factor for the quick growth. The enthusiastic team of guides, and administrators at Rustic Vines, is a group of individuals not only from inside Bordeaux but also from many of the far off corners of the globe. Making diversity one of the strong points of this unique tour company.
After starting the company Tim found a trusted friend in Scott, another larger-than-life Kiwi with the patience of a nun and smooth New Zealand accent, who has worn the hat of Rustic Vines Manager ever since. Scott rarely gives up the chance to take a tour himself, and flaunt his love for Bordeaux and vast knowledge of its wines.
Another wine loving Kiwi from New Zealand, Sarah and Chelsea from Canada both worked with us for a whole year in 2016. They still manage to sneak in now and then, and we think the more, the better. In the same year we also met another inspiring individual, Rob, who after building our Bordeaux Bike experience and mastering the perfect route, now owns La Musette a unique Café-Bike repair workshop on the south center side of town. His shop brings all the three most important things Rustic Wine loves, great taste, memories and bikes under one roof.
Furthermore, Dan Rock the founder of Le Map Bordeaux, who must have been an outsider once is as much bordelaise as someone born here. A passionate of French pop culture, anything history and the everyday locals life in Bordeaux, Dan has recently been helping Rustic Vines’ with referencing and web presence.
In the end, this mix of cultures, languages and loves make Rustic Vines tours full bodied blends of rustic, unadulterated, French culture, excellent food and some of the world’s best wines paired with a delicious mix of picturesque rural France, clear blue sea, friendly locals. Most importantly, the Rustic sense of familiarity with Bordeaux is what spices up things so well. Our team and the locals that we meet on the tours, are all happy to welcome you in their hearts and cellars and give you an unforgettable experience!
*The chances are that as a wine enthusiast, you may have noted a few puns in the above paragraph. They are all intended but if you missed out on them, do not worry. All you need is one tour with Rustic Wines, and you can start feeling like a proper wine connoisseur yourself.