The American Influence in Aquitaine

Often little known to the general public, the American influence in Bordeaux is considerable! On the commercial, diplomatic, military or cultural level, the American continent has truly marked Bordeaux and the Aquitaine region. Go on an adventure and discover the many American treasures still visible on our territory. History, culture, economy…There are many traces of the passage of Americans in Bordeaux and its region through the ages.

The Consulate of the United States of America is the first diplomatic post established by the country and testifies to this beautiful relationship between Bordeaux and the New Continent. It was in 1778, only 2 years after the country was born, this act testifies to the richness of this relationship.

 

The Close Trade Relationship Between the “Port de la lune” and Americans

Bordeaux being an international trade crossroads, its relationship with the United States is mainly based on port trade. The « port of the Moon » is therefore the first reason for the American presence on Bordeaux territory. Thanks to commercial and financial stability as well as a perennial situation, the relations will become stronger and lead to long years of exchanges and sympathy. During your trip, sail along the port of Bordeaux and discover for yourself the beauty of the place.

Besides the economic and commercial aspect, the connection between Bordeaux and the United States goes much further since the Marquis de La Fayette left France for his first voyage from Bordeaux towards the American coasts in 1777. Indeed, La Fayette did not make its first trip to America with the Hermione but with a boat named La Victoire.

Discover the magnificent port of Bordeaux ! Dive into a triumphant era when the port of the Moon was prized by the greatest traders and sailors.

The remains of an American past on the soil of Gironde during the First World War

The Americans have not only marked the history of Bordeaux and its port. Indeed, in 1917 there was a massive arrival of American soldiers in France and notably in Bordeaux. Bordeaux becomes the headquarters of the No. 2 Service of Supply of the American Expeditionary Force. The purpose of this headquarters was to receive and organize supplies. Far from the front zones, Bordeaux was used as a base of retreat to receive the hurt.

During this period, the people of Bordeaux discovered American culture, still little known in France. For example, jazz will rapidly develop and take root in the city. Indeed, the Bordeaux people will be the first to discover this musical style, it even seems that one of the first Jazz concerts was organized in Bordeaux! The appeal of jazz continued long after the war, symbolizing freedom and peace for the people of Bordeaux.

Present to contribute to the war efforts, the Americans will truly mark the territory of Gironde. From an architectural point of view, the soldiers will build hundreds of metres of landing stages, kilometres of railway track in just a few months. The construction of these military facilities was necessary for ships across the Atlantic to dock to land supplies for deployment. During the First World War, hospitals of unprecedented size were built in the Bordeaux region.

The American influence in the Bordeaux vineyard

The Americans also made history by passing through the Bordeaux vineyard. Indeed, it enjoys a great and beautiful reputation in the United States that explains the strong American presence in the vineyard.

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States, a great fan of oenology, became passionate about Bordeaux vineyards. Wine and great Bordeaux Chateaux lover, Thomas Jefferson stayed there for a few days where he noted the hierarchy of wines, the terroirs, the quality of the wine… A fine taster, he will be passionate about Château d’Yquem and in particular its 1784 vintage from which he ordered many bottles throughout his life. Back in the United States, he recommended Bordeaux wines to many famous friends.

Travel back in time through the many castles, testimony of this American presence. Indeed, the American influence in the Bordeaux vineyards is very strong. Americans are in fact at the head of a few areas. For example, Château Fonplégade with the Adams family, which has owned the estate since 2003, or Château Pabus owned by the American Robert S. Dow.

The Château de Rastignac in the Dordogne could be at the origin of the inspiration for the White House. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson could have been inspired by this castle during his visit to France. Reality or simple coincidence, many debates take part around this mystery. Through many eras, the American presence in Aquitaine has always been felt. Many places still testify to this American past in the “Belle Endormie” and its region. You also will slip into the shoes of the 3rd President of the United States and discover the great vineyards.

Discover the treasures of Aquitaine while enriching your knowledge. On this historic journey in the American’s steps , take the time to find yourself and be seduced by these magnificent landscapes.

© Photo Credits : MOSSOT

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