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In Bordeaux, you will find world-famous chteaux and wines but also a lot of new exciting initiatives, and young enthusiastic wine makers. On this trip, you will visit both some big, famous Grand Cru Class chteaux and smaller ones that are less known, but very quality conscious. You will visit the well-known regions like Medoc and Saint-Emilion, but also the rising stars among the regions like Entre-deux-Mers. You will learn about viticulture, vinification, and vintages. After this trip, you will know quite a lot about whats going on in Bordeaux!
Hotel Majestic offers you a refined environment of an 18th century building. Each room in the hotel has its own special dcor. This three-star hotel will give you a warm welcome and do their utmost to meet all your needs. Hotel Majestic is located in the city center of Bordeaux. Each room has air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, mini bar, safe, and hair dryer. The hotel has a diversity of 47 rooms which include standard, superior, and privilege rooms, suites, and apartments.
During more than three full days, you will travel around the Bordeaux wine region and visit both prestigious chteaux and smaller family-owned estates. There will probably be a lot of harvesting going on, and you will have a golden opportunity to see what happens both in the vineyard and in the cellar during this important season. In all of the chteaux, you will get private tastings together with the people who are involved in the wine making and who are delighted to share with you their passion for fine wine. You will stay for four nights in the city of Bordeaux, an elegant and very beautiful city of just over half a million people. In the evenings, you will have the possibility to explore Bordeaux, the sights, and the many restaurants, at your leisure.
Arrival to Bordeaux.
Check in to your three-star hotel, located in the city center. Bordeaux city is the center of the Bordelais wine trade. But today, you will see more of beautifully renovated Renaissance or Baroque mansions, luxurious boutiques, and university students than wine warehouses.
Evening is free to explore the city. Perhaps you will start with an aperitif at a wine bar? Why not try a Lillet, a spicy and fragrant wine-based drink invented by the brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet in 1872? It is still made in the same location where they started! It was made famous also by its appearance together with James Bond in Casino Royale. BKWine Tours will be happy to share with you some of their favorite addresses!
Your bus will pick you up at the hotel after breakfast.
You will spend the day in Medoc, home to many of the big chteaux names and famous for its wines made primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon. Here, in Medoc, the vines grow on a narrow strip of land along the Gironde estuary, sheltered from the rain and winds from the Atlantic Ocean by the Landes pine forest.
You will drive along the route des chteaux that leads north. This is a spectacular journey along an almost unreal road. The magnificent chateaux, some are virtual palaces, are dotted along the road like a string of pearls.
The bus will take you through the villages of Margaux, Saint-Julien, and Pauillac and up to Saint-Estephe. You will see many beautiful and famous chteaux on the way.
You will also see many famous wine estates (winery is too humble of a word) where the Cabernet Sauvignon grape dominate in the vineyards. The terrain is gently rolling hills. The best vineyards have a view over the river.
You will visit three different chteaux, both impressively big and smaller family owned ones.
At lunch time, you will make a visit to a magnificent family-owned chteau. You will firstly have a private tour of the cellar. If timing coincides with the harvest, you will see the extremely diligent sorting of the grapes that is done at grape reception, a key element in producing top quality wine. This is followed by a wine tasting and a lunch.
The lunch is quite exceptional: a gastronomic meal from a luxury restaurant, the only difference being that you can enjoy it at a chateau, in the calm luxury of their dining room. And you will taste several of their own wines with the different courses.
In the early evening, youll be back in Bordeaux. A walk along the river is a must. At dusk, the famous miroir deau, the water mirror, at the Place de la Bourse is at its most spectacular. You can also find many excellent restaurants along the newly redesigned river walk.
Today you will go south, to the regions of Pessac-Léognan, Graves and Sauternes. Pessac-Léognan and Graves are known for both red wines and dry, white wines. Sauternes makes some of the most delicious sweet wines in the world.
Here in Sauternes you are going to visit one of the grand chateaux in the region. You will learn how these magnificent wines are made, a process that is quite complicated.
The sweetness comes from the noble rot which gives not only sugar but also a lovely taste of honey and spices to the wines.
The production of these exclusive wines is painstaking. The grape pickers go over each parcel of vines several times to make sure that only the best grapes are picked. We will taste a few different vintages to see how a Sauternes wine evolves.
You will have lunch at a grand chateaux in the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The chef here is very talented and having lunch here, in the beautiful dining room of the chateau, is like being in a Michelin star restaurant.We will taste the excellent wines for lunch of course.
This château has long been living a bit in the shadow of some of the more name-famous neighbors although its wines are certainly not any lesser. It now belongs to an American banker and is slowly returning to worldwide fame.
You will have our last visit in the Graves appellation in the afternoon. At this chateau we will taste both red and white wines.
The white wines of Bordeaux are really magnificent and something of a hidden secret that should be discovered! They have almost become scarce so this is a great opportunity to taste some of the best examples.
Early evening you are back in Bordeaux. Free evening. There are still many restaurants and wine bars to discover. With dessert it is surely time for a glass of sauternes!
Today, you cross both rivers, the Garonne and the Dordogne. You will visit the right bank, rive droite, of Bordeaux: Saint Emilion, Fronsac, and Pomerol. The landscape is hillier here than in the Medoc and the chteaux are smaller. This is also where you will find the most expensive wines of Bordeaux!
Here you will visit small family chateaux with high ambitions. You will have the opportunity to walk in the vineyards and the winemakers will explain how they work to obtain the best grapes. This is very important for the final quality of the wines. At least one of the domains is certified organic.
For lunch you will go to a famous Grand Cru Classé with a beautiful state of the art winery. Here they also have a spectacular lime stone cellar where stone has been taken for centuries to build houses in the area. After the visit a delicious lunch will be served in the dining room of the small chateau. You will have a grillade au sarments, a typical Bordeaux way of preparing your meat.
You will also have time for a stroll in the picturesque town of Saint Emilion before your afternoon visit. Saint Emilion is a wonderful medieval small town on the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
Early evening you’re back to our hotel in Bordeaux. The rest of the evening is free to make more discoveries in the city centre. Perhaps a walk in the Old Town. The beautiful façades are a must to see!
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Visit Sauternes with excursions to the local chateaux and wineries
Visit Medoc with excursions to the local chateaux and wine estates
Visit the right bank of Bordeaux: Saint Emilion, Fronsac, and Pomerol with excursions to the local chateaux and wine estates
This retreat will take place in Bordeaux region, France.
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of BKWine Tours wine travel philosophy: wine is an integral part of the gastronomy. A wine tour with BKWine Tours will therefore also be a gastronomic experience. The meals that are included to the tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard. Sometimes, you will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in his home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine. Sometimes, you will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant.
At other times, it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialties, its atmosphere and its quality - a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases, BKWine Tours want to show you local gastronomic specialties and the local food and wine pairings. Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs. Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with especially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines. A wine tour with BKWine Tours is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
BKWine Tours aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food. The company puts a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often, it will not be the most famous and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experience, but the small ones.
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps you even meet the whole family at the estate. When you have a discussion, you start to understand what it is that they do. Maybe you will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. You will invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries. That is why your trip is not jam packed with visits at wineries.
During your free time, you can explore the city of Bordeaux rich with restaurants, cafes, and wine bars. Bordeaux is without a doubt one of Frances most elegant cities. It lies along the banks of the Garonne River. What used to be warehouses and parking places have been transformed into a myriad of cafs, wine bars, and restaurants. Here, you can find everything from Michelin-starred places to friendly neighborhood bistros. The two things one absolutely must do are to explore the old town and go for a stroll along the river and see the Place de la Bourse when evening is falling!
The closest airport is Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD).