Bordeaux Wine Tour : How to organize it

What is a Wine Tour in Bordeaux ?
Firstly you have to know that wine tourism is still "new" in Bordeaux. A few years ago visting the estates or Chateaux was relatively uncommun but things are changing. However, don't be mislead into to thinking this is just like in "Napa" where you can stop at the first winery on the road, ring the bell and ask for a taste. Most of the Chateaux will be happy to welcome you, but it is better to make an appointment and to select the place where you want to visit and take part in tastings.

A visit takes around 1-1h30 hours, where the tour guide will explain you the history of the estate, the "terroir", the vineyard itself, and the process involved. You will then be able to have a taste of the wines from the estate. On average you can visit 3 Chateaux per day.

Rule 1: the more famous the winery, the more difficult it is to gain access. Forget about Cheval Blanc, Yquem, Margaux, Lafite or Latour. On the other hand, many other Chateaux are open to visitors and have their own staff who lead the tour and tastings.

Rule 2: The less prestigious Chateaux are also well worth a visit. Most of the time you will meet directly the owner or the winemaker as they are usually family run estates and they therefore don't have staff. A wine tasting is not just a glass of wine in your hand it is also an unique opportunity to share the owner's passion and products.

Depending on your expectations and budget a good solution is to use the services of a local wine tour operator as 33 Tour Bordeaux & Chateaux . They will organize visits for you and will drive you throughout the day to each destination. This type of tour has an added advantage in that it offers a bespoke and personal service with a guide who has a detailed knowledge of the wine region.

Understanding Bordeaux wines can be quite confusing, so the use of a guide is very valuable, they will be able to explain the vineyard in detail, as well as grape varieties, designations and the classification system. Also they will drive you safely from places to places as they are not drinking alcohol.

St Emilion, Sauternes, Pauillac vineyards are far away from each others. So you will need to think about one day per region. For example one day for St Emilion, one day for Medoc, one day for Sauternes. A full wine tour it is a minimum of 3-4 days. The city of Bordeaux offers the best location to start your journey.

A good value option is also to visit the Bordeaux Tourist Board , who organizes group tours.

The best time to visit vineyard is from April till October and harvest take place usually between Sept-Oct but, it is also very busy, so be sure to book early. From Nov to March you will have a greater chance to gain acess to the more famous Chateaux and vineyards.

New St Emilion Classification

The classification for St Emilion wines has just been reviewed (published on Sept 2012) :

- Premier Grand Cru Classé AChâteau  ANGELUS (promu)Château AUSONE (maintenu)
Château CHEVAL-BLANC (maintenu)
Château PAVIE (promu)

- Premier Grand Cru Classé BChâteau BEAUSÉJOUR (DUFFAU-LAGARROSSE) (maintenu)
Château BEAU-SÉJOUR BÉCOT (maintenu)
Château BELAIR-MONANGE (maintenu)
Château CANON (maintenu)
Château FIGEAC (maintenu)
Clos FOURTET (maintenu)
Château LA GAFFELIÈRE  (maintenu)
Château LARCIS-DUCASSE (promu)
Château LA MONDOTTE (promu)
Château PAVIE-MACQUIN (maintenu)
Château TROPLONG-MONDOT (maintenu)
Château TROTTEVIELLE (maintenu)
Château VALANDRAUD (promu)

> Château MAGDELAINE sort du classement car il fusionne avec BELAIR-MONANGE.
> Châteaux CURÉ-BON et MATRAS sortent du classement après leur rachat par Château CANON.

Grand cru classé

Château L'ARROSÉE (maintenu)
Château BALESTARD-LA-TONNELLE (maintenu)
Château BARDE-HAUT (promu)
Château BELLEFONT-BELCIER (maintenu)
Château BELLEVUE (maintenu)
Château BERLIQUET (maintenu)
Château CADET-BON (maintenu)
Château CAPDEMOURLIN (maintenu)
Château LE CHÂTELET (promu)Château CHAUVIN (maintenu)
Château CLOS DE SARPE (promu)
Château LA CLOTTE (maintenu)
Château LA COMMANDERIE (promu)
Château CORBIN (maintenu)
Château CÔTE DE BALEAU (promu)
Château LA COUSPAUDE (maintenu)
Château COUVENT DES JACOBINS (maintenu)
Château DASSAULT (maintenu)
Château DESTIEUX (maintenu)
Château LA DOMINIQUE (maintenu)
Château FAUGÈRES (promu)
Château FAURIE DE SOUCHARD (maintenu)
Château DE FERRAND (promu)
Château FLEUR-CARDINALE (maintenu)
Château LA FLEUR MORANGE (promu)
Château FOMBRAUGE (promu)
Château FONPLÉGADE (maintenu)
Château FONROQUE (maintenu)
Château FRANC-MAYNE (maintenu)
Château GRAND CORBIN (maintenu)
Château GRAND CORBIN-DESPAGNE (maintenu)
Château GRAND-MAYNE (maintenu)
Château LES GRANDES MURAILLES (maintenu)
Château GRAND-PONTET (maintenu)
Château GUADET (maintenu)
Château HAUT-SARPE (maintenu)
Clos des JACOBINS (maintenu)
Château JEAN FAURE (promu)
Château LANIOTE (maintenu)
Château LARMANDE (maintenu)
Château LAROQUE (maintenu)
Château LAROZE (maintenu)
Clos la MADELEINE (promu)
Château LA MARZELLE (maintenu)
Château MONBOUSQUET (maintenu)
Château MOULIN DU CADET (maintenu)
Clos de L'ORATOIRE (maintenu)
Château PAVIE-DECESSE (maintenu)
Château PEBY-FAUGÈRES (promu)
Château PETIT-FAURIE-DE-SOUTARD (maintenu)
Château de PRESSAC (promu)
Château LE PRIEURÉ  (maintenu)
Château QUINAULT L'ENCLOS (promu)
Château RIPEAU (maintenu)
Château ROCHEBELLE (promu)
Clos SAINT-MARTIN (maintenu)
Château SANSONNET (promu)
Château La SERRE (maintenu)
Château SOUTARD (maintenu)
Château TERTRE-DAUGAY (maintenu)
Château LA TOUR-FIGEAC (maintenu)
Château VILLEMAURINE (maintenu)
Château YON-FIGEAC (maintenu)

La Revue des Vins de France

Medoc & Sauternes

We are happy to inform you about our new tour : Medoc & Sauternes, red and sweet wines.

This tour will give you the opportunity to experience wines from Margaux, Pauillac,St Julien, Pessac Leognan and of course Sauternes.

It is all the diversity of the Bordeaux vineyard Terroirs that you will taste.
The Chateaux visited are all Grand Crus Classes and produce different style of wines.
We have also plan lunches in some of the best local gourmet restaurant to taste at the French gastronomy.

More about this wine tour on our website : Bordeaux Wine Trip

Some information about the Medoc wines :
 and Sauternes :

Week End des Grands Crus

Week End des Grands Crus 2012

7th Edition : Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May 2012

The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux is pleased to reconvene this exclusive weekend in the very heart of the prestigious Bordeaux appellations for all fine wine passionates.

It offers a unique occasion to taste under one roof over a hundred Grands Crus, presented by their creators, and to discover the exceptional 2009 vintage.

 And after the tasting, we suggest to prolong the experience with prestigious dinners in wine châteaux and vineyard tours.

 Saturday 12 May:
- The Grands Crus Tasting
- The dinners at wine estates
- The Grands Crus Party

Sunday 13 May:
- Vineyard Tours: Saint-Emilion, Pomerol; Pessac-Léognan, Graves and Sauternes; Médoc
- Open Day: Saint-Julien, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe
- Golf Tournament (Golf du Médoc)

Week End des Grands Crus 2012

Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux

Bordeaux Wine Concierge

New, exclusive service of Bordeaux Wine Concierge. 

Because we have connection with local wine brokers or Chateaus, we can provide and search for you old vintage, fine wines, large volume or special collector wines.

In order to guarantee quality and because storage, history, traceability are the most important for a best preservation, the bottles come from Bordeaux local private cellars or even direct from the property.

For your wine club, private cellar or investment, don't hesitate to ask us we find for you.

Our partners can delevry and ship all over the world (except local regulation, states or country restriction).

Visit our Bordeaux Wine page