Which Are the Best Vineyards to Visit in Bordeaux?

November, 2018.

Whether travelling with a group of friends or getting away for a romantic break for two, you’re sure to have fun with a unique trip to a vineyard in one of the most famous wine regions in the world. It’s a Bordeaux experience not to miss.

But with over 7,000 different vineyards in the retion, it can be difficult to decide which ones are worth a visit. That’s where Holiday Autos come in. With plenty of travel experience, we have unique insight into the best places to visit.

Read on for our list of the best vineyards to visit in Bordeaux, so you can make the most of your trip.

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Château Pape Clément

Named after Pope Clement V, also known as Bertrand de Goth, Château Pape Clément is one of Bordeaux’s longest running vineyards. In fact, the first recorded grape harvest was in 1252! Pope Clement V was known for his love of wine and received the chateau as a gift.

He took a keen interest in the running of the vineyard and was known for his sophisticated management techniques. Now under the direction of Bernard Magrez, the winery has never been better.

With lower yields, riper fruit and the introduction of new French oak barrels, the wine has become increasingly popular.

With visits ranging from a tour and wine tasting to a wine making workshop, there’s plenty to keep you busy. And just a 15-minute drive from Bordeaux centre, this vineyard is not to be missed.

2.Chateau-Pape-Clement-Bordeaux- Image by Tony Hisgett , Chateau Pape Clement Bordeaux , CC BY 2.0 / retouched.

Cos d’Estournel

One of the most architecturally unique vineyards in the Bordeaux region, Cos d’Estournel takes influence from Asian design. Inspired by its owner’s love for India, the winery is packed with extravagant style. The château is a beautiful combination of traditional French architecture and opulent Asian interiors, driven by a desire to be truly inimitable.

The stunning château is just over an hour’s drive from Bordeaux’s centre. Get to know the surroundings on the drive over, soaking up the French landscapes.

Visits to the winery are complete with a full tour of the vineyard and Château, as well as plenty of information about the history of the estate. Taste some of the indulgent wines and even pick some up for a special occasion.

3.Le Cos d'Estournel Image by Giogo, Le Cos d'Estournel, CC BY-SA 4.0 / retouched

Château Pontet-Canet

This spectacular vineyard has been in use since 1725. Even more impressive, the winery has it has only seen 3 owners over those three centuries.

Château Pontet-Canet was founded and built by Jean-François de Pontet, who was Grand Ecuyer (Master of the Horse) to King Louis XV. Since then it has been owned by the Cruse family and today is ran by Guy Tesseron, a cognac merchant.

Since 2004, the vineyard has been dedicated to using biodynamic agriculture. This innovative, sustainable farming practice ensures that no outside pesticides or chemicals are used within the wine-making process.

Guides will take you on a tour of the impressive estate, starting with a ride through the vineyards on a golf buggy. Learn about the long history of this château and finish with a taste of one of the magnificent Grand Cru vintage wines.

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Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Previously owned by wine merchant company, Eschenauer, Château Smith Haut Lafitte now belongs to former Olympic skiing champion, Daniel Cathiard.

After spending 3 years renovating the estate, Daniel and his wife, Florence, moved into the impressive grounds. They have devoted themselves to reducing the number of herbicides and chemicals used in the vineyards and have fully modernised the winery.

The 78-hectare vineyard is just a short 20-minute drive from Bordeaux city centre and has easy access for cars.

It’s also home to an underground cellar with over 1000 barrels resting for production. There are a range of tours available at Château Smith Haut Lafitte, perfect for any time or price budget.

5.Bordeaux Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte exterior Image by Megan Mallen, Bordeaux Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte exterior, CC BY 2.0 / retouched

Domaine de Chevalier

Domaine de Chevalier gained attention back in 1865 when it was purchased by Arnaud Ricard for 33,000 Francs. Fast forward a century and the estate was sold to the Bernard family for a whopping 23,000,000 Francs.

At the time of purchase, the château had only 18 hectares of vineyards. Since being taken over by the Bernard’s, the estate now stands at 120 hectares, with 65 of those being under vine.

The winery adopts a unique approach to harvesting grapes. Sorting is done only in the vineyards, so the grapes are picked one by one. The white grapes are particularly cared for, being a key ingredient in Domaine de Chevalier – recognised as one of the world’s finest dry white wines.

Tours of this grand estate include a look around the impressive 120 hectares and a trip into the cellars to taste some of the wines.

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Château Lynch-Bages

Just over an hour outside Bordeaux centre, Château Lynch-Bages is one of the best vineyards to visit in France.

This estate is one of the best-known in the Médoc region, with their wines being particularly popular in the UK. The year-round warm climate lends itself nicely to the growth and richness of the grapes, which in turn improves the taste of the wine.

Although the estate is currently closed to visitors until mid-2019, it’s well worth a trip once it has reopened. While the estate is closed, they are operating trips to the local Château Ormes de Pez. The trip to the vineyard will be followed by a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting.

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Rules of the road

At Holiday Autos, we want you to enjoy every minute of your trip. But, we want you to do it safely. As always, it’s important to check out the driving laws in the country you’re visiting.

Especially when visiting vineyards, remember to choose a designated driver to remain sober. Or avoid having a drink yourself if you’re driving. Like in every European country, France has a strict drink driving limit, which you must adhere to.

Make the most of your holiday, taking in the impressive vineyards around the area. Just remember to keep yourselves, and others, safe whilst doing so.

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Hiring a car in Bordeaux

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