The Bordeaux vineyard and its oceanic climate is a pilgrimage for all lovers of good wine, but also for tourists looking for a new way of traveling. What could be better than to organise a Bordeaux chateau visit to discover this magnificent wine region? This is what we call wine tourism: excursions to wine regions , meet the producers who make you discover their products and their country. In full boom, the wine tourism is even more developed in the Bordeaux region with its many vintages. French and foreign tourists flock to participate in tastings of the best wines, discover the best Bordeaux chateau visits and their precious cellars, or take part in vineyard hikes on the Wine Route.
Before you share our selection of best chateaux to visit in Bordeaux and its surroundings, let’s go back a few centuries ago to understand where the world famous identity of the Bordeaux vineyards comes from.
- 1 The origin of the Bordeaux vineyard
- 2 Bordeaux chateau visit guide
- 3 Bordeaux chateau visit: what to visit in the Bordeaux region?
- 4 Winalist in Bordeaux: tailor-made wine tourism
The origin of the Bordeaux vineyard
The 117,200 hectares of vineyard are the fruit of several centuries of wine culture and trade in the Aquitaine basin. Its roots go back to the time of the Roman Empire, when the notables of Bordeaux (formerly Burdiglia) decided to plant their vines themselves because of the too high import prices of Italian merchants. The Biturica variety is then planted in the Bay of Biscay . After 5 centuries of invasion followed by the decline of the Roman Empire, the monks settled in the abbeys of the region fortunately manage to keep the plots of precious vines.
In 1152, Bordeaux and its region were a model of production and wine distribution in the hands of the Kingdom of England (Eleanor of Aquitaine, the local Duchess, married Henri Plantagenêt, who became King of England). This is still the case today! In 1199, Saint-Émilion founded its wine brotherhood. Following the Hundred Years War, Aquitaine became French again in 1453, and it was not until 1475 that normal trade resumed with the English kingdom. At the start of the 17th century, Bordeaux wine, in particular red, was exported to the Dutch, then Saint-Domingue and the Lesser Antilles.
The golden age of Bordeaux wine
In the 19th century, world exports exploded and the production of Bordeaux wines doubled! It will also be the century of innovations in terms of culture , since the winegrowers in turn repel a fungal epidemic called “oïdum” as well as phylloxera which had almost wiped out the entire vineyard, then downy mildew, another parasitic fungus.
Since then, the many appellations such as Saint Emilion are recognized around the world as high quality products, and Bordeaux winegrowers keep winning medals for grandiose wines of which only the latter know all the secrets.
Bordeaux chateau visit guide
Are these secrets so dear to wine producers really inaccessible? For the curious and wine lovers, we wanted to answer a question that is often asked: What are the best Bordeaux chateau visits during a wine tourism stay? Here is our top!
Château Lestrille – A Castle in the City
Rue Saint-James in historic Bordeaux, Château Lestrille has opted for a rather original wine shop named “A castle in the city”, by distributing only its wine! The range is wide enough for wine lovers, with white and red wines, a rosé and a clairet. You can also share some local products to taste on a board with your glass of wine . What to spend a convivial moment advised by real lords.
L’Oenolimit, 2 rue des Ayres
A well-known haunt of epicureans. The Oenolimit offers its customers an impeccable service of wines and cheese and cold meats . The advice given is very clear and unpretentious. All at an affordable price in a warm atmosphere . We recommend!
Antoine’s cellar, organic in the spotlight!
In its two stalls on rue Furtado and rue des Faures, the Cave d’Antoine offers more than 400 wine references . There is something for all prices, from the traditional table bottle to the exceptional wine reserved for special occasions. The particularity that we like a lot: all wines are organic or almost come from a production biodynamic . A committed approach on the part of this team of enthusiasts, who are keen to support a wine industry closer to nature.
Bordeaux chateau visit: what to visit in the Bordeaux region?
For a getaway outside the gates of the regional capital, wine tourism is an ideal way to discover the region .
Winalist’s partner domains look forward to opening their doors to you discover the daily life of winegrowers , make you taste their cuvées and even make you visit their estates and castles . Here are a few offering simple activities accessible to amateurs and experts alike!
The Clos des Abbesses
Located at Saint Sulpice de Faleyrens in Bordeaux, Clos des Abbesses is a producer from Saint-Émilion and Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. This family of winegrowers produces around 70,000 bottles per year thanks to more than 15 hectares of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grape varieties. Their slogan: “The Passion of a family at the service of Tradition”. You will enjoy a visit to the estate and the cellar followed by a tasting .
The Château La Croizille
The De Schepper – De Mour family combines this great terroir with cutting-edge technology and traditional know-how to make Château La Croizille a Saint-Emilion of character . The hosts offer several activities such as a privileged visit, or optional visits (picnic, tasting, wine bar). Come and discover this remarkable wine estate not far from Saint-Émilion.
In Saint-Jean-de-Blaignac in Entre-Deux-Mers, the Château de Bonhoste offers a visit to the heart of the family estate. Appreciate the work of the vine and its terroir, visit the winemaking cellar, place of wine making as well as the underground cellar of 1300m2. Located in a former quarry, the wines are aged in barrels. After having surveyed the domain, you will be delighted to move on to tasting of the best vintages .
Winalist in Bordeaux: tailor-made wine tourism
All the activities offered by Winalist want to be authentic while being a real moment of sharing. In the Bordeaux region, you will find many gastronomic experiences, Bordeaux chateau visits, a few open days and even workshops to create your wine!
To know how to do wine tourism in Bordeaux , just go there and try! The partner winegrowers of our platform of wine enthusiasts are keen to welcome you to convey their love of the vines and the terroir to all generations, families or groups of friends. Behind the scenes of the profession of winegrower will no longer hold any secrets for you. Consult now the best offers for an oenological stay in Bordeaux . In a few clicks, you can book a tailor-made stay thanks to the many filters offered by our search engine. Plus, you don’t pay any additional booking fees!
See you soon in Bordeaux