2000 years of history… and looking good for it! Bordeaux, the world capital of wine, radiates splendour in its 18th-century setting. Wine lovers and connoisseurs always associate the Bordeaux label with quality and, very often, excellence. Spread over 112,000 hectares, the largest and oldest region in the world for fine wines is home to 65 appellations, 7000 winemakers, 300 wine dealerships and around 100 brokers, with an average production of 5 million hectolitres per year.
Exploring Bordeaux’s vineyards
In Bordeaux, it’s easy to visit the local vineyards! Whether you want to explore the city’s châteaux or discover the vineyards of the surrounding winegrowing region in less than a day, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Here’s what we recommend.
Discover the vineyard without leaving Bordeaux
You love wine, but the countryside does not particularly attract you.
We first recommend exploring the Cité du Vin as well as the small Musée du Vin et du Négoce (Wine and Trade Museum) which focuses solely on Bordeaux wine.
After this useful introduction, it’s time to move on to the practical side of things. Several winegrowing châteaux are accessible via tram and bus. For example, the Château du Taillan (line 37, Dame Blanche stop) offers wine blending workshops where you can craft your own wine! If you prefer Pessac-Léognan in the Médoc, head southward: Château Luchey Halde in the Mérignac area can be reached by tram (Tram A, stop at Fontaine d’Arlac). Entirely revamped by Bordeaux Sciences Agro (the National School of Agronomic Sciences), the château has come back to life.
You can also take a three-hour tour of the city’s vineyards. The trail includes four tasting sessions of four different appellations (Entre-Deux-Mers, Saint Emilion, Médoc, Sauternes). It’s called the Bacchus Wine Tour, by Les Ateliers de Bacchus, and costs €69/person.
Excursions in the vineyard in less than a day
There’s no time to lose! At the cost of 165 €/person, the Bordeaux Wine Trail offers a magnificent day trip comprising up to nine tasting sessions in a day! The tour takes you across five winemaking appellations on both sides of the Garonne and stops at three of them.
By all means of transport
By car, yes, but not just any car! Hop in an iconic Citroën 2CV, and let your driver take you to your chosen winegrowing area: the Médoc, Saint-Emilion or Pessac-Léognan. On the way, you will stop for a tasting session, of course. This original tour is organised by 4 Roues Sous Un Parapluie (“4 Wheels Under An Umbrella”), from €154/person.
More chic, less rural, a ride in an English taxi is also an option (discover the Médoc, Pessac-Léognan, and Sauternes from €132 with wine-cab.com). Or you can opt for a road-trip in a side-car for a half-day trip in the Médoc (€369 per side-car).
But you can also choose to avoid the noise of the engine! Enjoy a 3-hour or full-day bike trail in the Pessac Léognan AOC area with degustation-bordeaux.fr from €79. The routes are fairly flat: there’s no risk of ending up in a ditch!