Contemporary wineries in Bordeaux
The landscape of Bordeaux has been covered with vines for close to 2,000 years.With such a rich history, you can find examples of architecture from many different centuries, from historic 14th century battlements to romantic 18th and 19th century spires. But recent years have seen another explosion of building works, and a fascinating few days can be given over to exploring the contemporary architecture that is now proclaiming the new Golden Age of Bordeaux wineries.
Among those that should not be missed include Chateau Cheval Blanc, where the ultra-modern winery designed by Christian de Portzamparc almost melts into the landscape. It’s not always easy to get visits here, but it is worth contacting them, as a walk on the roof of the winery – an exotic garden covered with wildflowers – is unforgettable. Head over this way even if you don’t get to go inside, as this summer you’ll be able to get a stunning view from a neighbouring building project, at Chateau la Dominique, where celebrated architect Jean Nouvel is soon unveiling an ultra-modern 600m2 winery, where wine will be made entirely by gravity.
Owner Clément Fayat has extensive plans for welcoming visitors, with a restaurant and boutique on site. Another unmissable visit, with newly-finished cellars and visitor receptions, will be Chateau Mouton-Rothschild in Pauillac. The focal point for visitors will be the Museum of Wine, re-envisaged by artistic director Richard Peduzzi and architect Bernard Mazières.
If it is winemaking that interests you, explore the astonishing new cellars at, among others, Chateau Pichon Longueville in Pauillac, Chateau La Conseillante in Pomerol, Chateau Faugeres in Saint Emilion, Chateau Fieuzal and Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte in Pessac Leognan, and Chateau Palmer in Margaux. Some of the world’s most celebrated architects, including Philippe Starck and Lord Norman Foster, are currently working on projects in Bordeaux to be unveiled in the next few years – so make sure to book a return visit to keep up with the ever-changing architectural face of Bordeaux.