There are over 100,000 vineyards scattered across Bordeaux, making it one of France’s top wine regions. Wherever you choose to rent a chateau in Bordeaux, you’re never far from a crop of top quality wineries, many of which offer a variety of wine-tasting tours suitable for veterans and novices alike. There are three primary regions in Bordeaux dotted with wineries and vineyards: Médoc, located in the northwest, Graves-Sauternes towards the south and Saint-Émilion in the east. With so many places to choose from, wine aficionados are spoilt for choice, but we’ve done a bit of the legwork for you and sniffed out three of the top picks from these regions.
1. Château de Pitray (Château de Pitray, 33350 Gardegan) Château de Pitray is just 8km from Saint-Emilion, and has been owned by the de Boigne family for nearly 600 years. Specialising in Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the Pitray vineyard covers over 37 hectares of vines and produces over 240,000 bottles of wine annually. That’s a lot of corks…
2. Château Mouton Rothschild (B.P. 117, 33250 Pauillac) The Chateau Mouton Rothschild is located in Pauillac, a village about 50km northwest outside of Bordeaux, and has a world-famous claret of the same name. The vineyard grows a selection of quality grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot varieties. It’s one of the last vineyards in the Médoc to ferment wines in oak vats before transferring to oak casks to mature.
3. Château Pape-Clément (216 Avenue Docteur Nancel Pénard, 33600 Pessac) The Château Pape-Clément is the oldest planted vineyard in the Bordeaux area, having harvested its 700th vintage in 2006. Wine connoisseurs flock to the vineyard for its picturesque 30 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. Château Pape-Clément also produces a small quantity of white grapes, including Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle. When visiting Bordeaux, an organised tour of one of the region’s many vineyards is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. However, if you do decide to go it alone – rather than booking with a tour company – be sure to plan ahead. Many vineyards (both famous and lesser-known) require bookings in advance, and are often closed on weekends. It’s well worth doing a bit of homework to avoid disappointment.
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Where to Stay with Oliver’s Travels:
Located just a 15-minute drive from Saint-Émilion, Chateau La Roque is the perfect choice of luxury holiday property for any group of wine enthusiasts, with space to accommodate 9 guests. This beautiful chateau is located in the Fronsadais wine territory and boasts a hectare of terraced gardens and fruit orchards, with wonderful views of the surrounding working vineyards.
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