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Patrick Cronenberger_CIVB
© Patrick Cronenberger_CIVB

A day in the Médoc

The Atlantic Ocean, the Gironde estuary, the pine forest, the chateaux and their surrounding vineyards make up the unique landscape of the Médoc. In this Mecca of wine tourism, the most prestigious appellations and estates fuse their charms with the attractiveness of the area’s ocean and lakes. 

The Médoc region and its exceptional appellations 

Bordered to the east by the Gironde estuary, and to the west by the vast pine forest that separates it from the Atlantic Ocean and protects it from the sea winds, the Médoc vineyards benefit from a mild, humid oceanic climate and exceptional soils. About a hundred kilometre long, the Bordeaux Wine Route in the Médoc stretches from the town of Blanquefort, on the edge of Bordeaux’s conurbation, to Saint-Vivien-de-Médoc, near the Pointe de Grave. It follows the mythical “Départementale 2” (D2) by-road and crosses the six communes that make up the AOC Haut-Médoc in the south - Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Saint-Estèphe, Moulis-en-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc - before reaching the vineyards of the Médoc appellation, which are concentrated in the north of the peninsula

©Fabrice Fatin
©Fabrice Fatin

A land of water and wine

The “king of lighthouses and lighthouse of kings,” Cordouan watches over the Gironde estuary. Southward, it offers a dazzling panorama of more than a hundred kilometres of coastline, from Verdon-sur-Mer to Lacanau-Océan. A paradise for water and seaside activities, particularly prized by families, the Atlantic side of the Medoc region is a land of water. The salty and rough coastal surfing spots contrast with the calm waters of France’s largest lake, at Carcans-Hourtin, ideal for rowing or sailing. To switch from water to wine with the whole family, we recommend the Odyssée de la Rose Pauillac, a playful, dreamlike and sensory journey through a Médoc vineyard. In a large fermenting room, a fantastic scenography blends video, sound, and light to create an immersive show where imagination and reality come into play. It also features a game designed for children aged 4 to 12... Through this unique multimedia visit of the estate, discover the cycles of the vine across the seasons, from pruning to harvesting and winemaking. Fascinating. 

60 listed Grands Crus 

The chateaux Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild, and fifty-six other great names of the Médoc are included in the famous “Liste des Grands Crus Classés en 1855”, the (Great Growth Classification of 1855). Always striving for excellence, these prestigious estates never cease to innovate in the realms of oenology and wine tourism. In Pauillac, the “Maison du Tourisme et du Vin” (the House of Tourism and Wine) invites you to book a visit to one of its partner châteaux and enter the dazzling and intimidating world of these exceptional wines. The House provides a map revealing the impressive architectural diversity of the Médoc châteaux listed as Grand Crus. From traditional manor houses to contemporary designed wine cellars, the region is home to several architectural gems, including the “Versailles of Médoc” (Château Beychevelle) or the revisited oriental palace of Cos d’Estournel. Astonishing.


Tours to discover the Médoc wine region

Embark on a journey to discover one of the most famous Médoc appellations: Margaux. This tour allows you to visit three estates in a single day. You will have a chance to taste fabulous wines paired with tasty regional specialities. And of course, lunch at Château Kirwan!