Meet your guide outside the Bordeaux Tourist Office and climb into a comfortable air-conditioned coach for your full-day tour of the Médoc region. As you make your way out of the city, get an introduction to Bordeaux wines. Enjoy the scenic views of the Gironde Estuary en route.
Learn how this region's wines were first classified after the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III wanted to be able to distinguish between wines of different quality. Thus the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was born, with châteaux ranked by the quality of the wine they produced. During this day tour, visit three Médoc châteaux to sample some of the wines that still use the 1855 classification system.
At the first château, find out how things like climate and geology — the terroir — inform the wine. Learn about the different varietals of grapes used to make Bordeaux's famous wines. In particular in the Médoc region, it's Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn how to read a French wine label, how to pair food with wine, and all the steps that go into making wine.
At the second château, learn some of the secrets to wine tasting before enjoying a traditional French lunch. At the third château, learn more about the specifics of the 1855 classification. Hear about its origins and history and how it still has a major impact on wine-making today. After the visit to the third wine estate, climb back into the coach and enjoy the scenic ride back to Bordeaux.
The châteaux you visit during the tour will vary, but the three will be among this list: Château Prieuré Lichine, Château Léoville Poyferré, Château Lynch-Bages, Château Lagrange, Château Cantenac Brown, Château Lascombes, Château Camensac, Château Branaire Ducru, Château Lynch-Moussas, Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Château Brane Cantenac, and Château Cantemerle.