The 1,000 square-kilometers (62 square-miles) surrounding Bordeaux is one mighty big vineyard, divided into 60 appellations with 8,500 wine growing producers called chateaux. It's mind-blowing stuff, but a day spent on the ground visiting premier vineyard estates will help you make sense of it all.
Bordeaux wines can be divided into four sub-regions, including many familiar wines we already know and love. North of the city of Bordeaux, the Médoc wine region is celebrated for its well-balanced Margaux, Pauillac and Saint Julien reds. From the southern Graves region we have sticky white dessert Sauternes and wines from the Premières Cotes de Bordeaux, including earthy Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec reds.
The best Bordeaux AOC wines are reds from the Gironde department, including Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grape varieties. The fourth region, east of Bordeaux, includes St-Émilion and Pomerol, famous for its aged Petrus wines.
This varied vineyard wonderland is bordered by the Gironde Estuary and
the Atlantic Ocean. It's a neatly ordered countryside of rolling hills,
forests and valleys, threaded with lines of vineyards and overlooked by
turreted chateaux and medieval villages with cobblestone streets.
South of Bordeaux is the timeless oyster town of Arcachon, its picturesque four quarters evocatively named for the seasons. Freshly caught oysters are served with sausages called crepinettes in this seaside town's waterfront cafes.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable ways to discover the wine and food of the Bordeaux region is to pair food and wine with a visit to several wine-growing chateaux, a wine merchant's cellar and tasting platter lunch.
Reply by Viator, April 2013
Doing what: Small-Group Saint-Emilion and Pomerol Day Trip from Bordeaux
Although the weather was rather wet our guide/driver was excellent making our visit interesting and friendly. The two visits were very different which enhanced the enjoyment. Thank you.
Reply by Viator, March 2013
Doing what: Bordeaux Vineyards Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip
The Bordeaux Vineyards Half Day wine tasting was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Bordeaux. We visited two chateaus and enjoyed a tasting at each. It was just the right amount of time. Our tour guide was wonderful! She was very knowledgeable and made sure we had a great time!
Reply by Viator, March 2013
Doing what: Small-Group Medoc or St-Emilion Wine Tasting and Chateaux Tour from Bordeaux
First, and most importantly, François was a terrific guide. He was friendly, knowledgeable and entertaining, and I highly recommend him as a tour guide. The two locations selected for the tour were very interesting, and it was wonderful to meet the owner of Chateau Lamarque, in her living room while tasting her excellent wines. The Gruaud-Larose tour was very comprehensive, and again, the selection of wines for tasting and the cheese/charcuterie offered was excellent. I would love to take the St-Emilion tour next time.