So you are a passionate oenologist, or maybe you just love wine, especially French wine; we know where you can take your love of the red, white and rosé drink to the next level… Bordeaux.
The most famous wine-making region in the world is at your service. Here, the Chateaux open their doors to visitors, for a small entry fee, from 7€ per person, and you will get a tour around the Chateau, its grounds, its wine-making and storing facilities, sample the produced wine and understand the intricacies of the whole process.
Here are our top 5 Chateaux in the Bordeaux region worth a visit:
1. Chateau La Louviere
The Estate is located 14km south of Bordeaux in the Pessac-Leognan area. André Lurton bought the estate in 1965 and in 1991 was classified as a historical monument. They produce red and white wine, their white wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. It is a dry and fruity wine, which in their words, is quite complex. The red is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. For more information please visit www.andrelurton.com
2. Chateau Lavergne-Dulong
Visit Chateau Lavergne-Dulong around 15 mins away from the centre of Bordeaux heading towards the Dordodge. Here your tour will begin at their vineyard and onto the cellars, whilst tasting their different wines and being given an explanation on the characteristics of the grape varieties used. Please visit www.chateau-lavergne-dulong.com
3. Chateau Beychevelle
A prestigious Cru Classe forged by 3 centuries of history. Located in the Medoc, between Pauillac and Margaux, Chateau Beychevelle is known as the ‘Versailles of the Medoc’. Its doors are open all year-round and you don’t necessarily need an appointment. Visit www.beychevelle.com for more info.
4. Chateau Bouscaut
20 mins from Bordeaux in the Pessac-Leognan appellation this super estate makes Chateau Bouscaut red and white wines. Owners Sophie and Laurent and their helpers will share their story and expertise with you in themed visits, fun tastings and workshops that will help you understand how this chateau creates its unique wines. More information can be found on www.chateau-bouscaut.com
5. Chateau Fayard
Visitors are immediately taken in by the Chateau’s elegant architecture. Located at the foot of the slopes in Le Pian sur Garonne, this estate is in fact a small hamlet with charm. The vineyard contains vines that are on average 30 years old and produce a great dry sémillon-based white wine according to time-honoured traditions. Please call for an appointment, tel: 00 33 (0)5 56 63 33 81
Use this link if you are looking for campsites near Bordeaux
Last few hours before I catch my plane home.
Bordeaux is in the south west of France, within the Gironde department and neighbour to the Dordogne and Landes. The city is famous around the world for it great wines and has been my home for the last 2 days. I have been fortunate over the last few years to spend time (for work and holidays) in this beautiful French city. This, the 6th largest city in France by population sits on the shores of the Garonne River, one of the longest rivers in France that begins its journey inland from the Gironde estuary and ends in north-east Spain, some 350 miles later. The name Bordeaux comes from Bord des Eaux – The Water’s Edge.
All along the city’s riverside, you will find Les Quais, an area renovated some 10 years ago with a thoroughfare, a tramway and a promenade with gardens, restaurants and bars. The area is popular with people taking a stroll, cyclists, rollerskaters and in the summer, public dance events are on, such as Salsa classes.
It is at Les Quais, where you will find La Place de la Bourse and the choice for my photo.
The Place de la Bourse, built by the king’s architect, Ange-Jacques Gabriel between 1730 and 1775 at the request of the then Governor of Bordeaux, Claude Boucher, as a backdrop to the new statue of Louis XV . The creation of the large square was also part of his plans to make Bordeaux more welcoming to visitors from the sea and as a sign of the city’s prosperity, thanks to its Port and Wine Industry. Over the years, the square has changed its name a number of times. From its original, Place Royale, to Place de la Liberte after the Revolution and then Place Imperiale at the time of Napoleon. You can still find traces of these names etched in stone in the square. In 1848, it became Place de la Bourse (Bordeaux’s Chamber of Commerce occupies one of the buildings).
The statue disappeared during the Revolution and replaced by a tree of liberty, later to be replaced again by the current ‘La fontaine des 3 Grâces, featuring the 3 daughters of Zeus.
You can find in the areas around Bordeaux and a little further south in the Landes department a large range of campsites, from unclassified rural campsites, and from 1-star through to 5-star sites, catering for a wide range of accommodation and pitches. For more information on camping in the area, please see our Campsites in Landes / Gascony section.
1 in 40 comes from my 2013 to-do list