This Discover Wine series focuses on regions of the world that you can visit for wine tasting.
If you want to go wine tasting in Bordeaux, we have all the information you’ll need to put together a fun and informative self-guided wine tour in Bordeaux.
We know this area can be daunting to newbies, so we’ve not only put together a list of some of our favorite Chateaux in Bordeaux, we’ve also included a primer to help you understand the area, along with how to get there, how to get around, and where to stay.
» You might like these 14 Top Saint-Emilion Wineries to Visit in 2023.
Are you planning your trip to Bordeaux?
If you’re traveling to Bordeaux, ensure you have lodging and wine tours booked ahead of time! Below are some of our top picks to help you plan!
- Easiest way to book wine tasting appointments: Rue des Vignerons (instant booking!)
- Book a private wine tour with driver with B for Bordeaux (personalize your tour)
- Rent a car through Discover Cars (they find all the best deals)
Where to Stay in Bordeaux:
- Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel, an IHG Hotel (5-star hotel in Bordeaux Centre)
- Château Fombrauge – Bernard Magrez Luxury Wine Experience (Saint Emilion)
- Château Pape Clément – Bernard Magrez Luxury Wine Experience (Left Bank)
Best Tours and Experiences in Bordeaux:
Bordeaux is a world-renown wine region with great popularity and highly acclaimed wine. There are many appellations with quirky differences that you’ll want to discover for yourself by tasting the wines in the vineyard.
Somewhere along the way you might even learn what a first-growth verses fifth-growth is.
The predominant grape varietals in Bordeaux are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and each region uses it’s own specific blend.
We’ve always found that traveling ourselves to a wine region is the best way to learn an incredibly amount about its wine and the industry in a short amount of time.
If you’re just beginning to research a wine tasting trip to Bordeaux, you’re in the right place. Let’s go!
Self-Guided or Bordeaux Wine Tour
The first consideration you’ll probably be making is whether you want to take a guided wine tour or do a self-guided tour. If you don’t have a designated driver, or don’t wish to spit the wine instead of drinking it, you will need to take a wine tour.
There are many to choose from. You can go on a group tour, which are plentiful, but often include up to 30 people and are on a pre-planned route that you can’t decide on. Tours typically go to great wineries and there’s a lot of information given – plus you don’t have to take care of a single detail.
Below are two group tours we recommend:
- Medoc Region Wine Day Trip with Vineyard Visits & Tastings
- Saint-Emilion Electric Bike Day Tour with Wine Tastings & Lunch
- Small-Group Saint-Emilion and Pomerol Day Trip from Bordeaux
Arrange a Private Tour
If you don’t want to build your own self-guided wine tour to the wine areas of Bordeaux, I suggest booking a private wine tour through B for Bordeaux, a wine tour company run by Berit Simonsen, who is very knowledgeable and works closely with the wineries to ensure your visit is great.
With this tour, the whole process is up to you. You can decide where to go yourself, or have Berit take care of all the details for you. You can book one day or 5 days – it’s entirely up to you.
Here’s a recent customer review: “We considered a few options for a day tour of the Medoc but chose Berit on the basis of her great communication, responsiveness, reasonable rate and her flexibility in meeting our requirements. Our expectations were fully met, even exceeded.”
Check out the offerings here and be sure to tell her that Savored Journeys sent you.
I personally prefer to do self-guided touring when I visit wine regions because it gives me the greatest flexibility and I actually really like researching and choosing the wineries I want to go to.
While there is a little more work involved because you have to set up all the tours yourself, there are tools that will help make this super easy. The one I use is called Rue des Vignerons. It’s a French website that makes booking wine appointments super easy.
The site has 450 wineries and distilleries, both family-owned and famous houses, that includes 1,500 bookable experiences, including tastings, tours, workshops, and meals. You can book online up to 30 minutes before and your appointment is confirmed instantly. This is the website I used to book all of my Bordeaux tasting appointments.
In our descriptions below, I will give you links directly to Rue des Vignerons for each winery so you can easily book it.
⇒ Spending more time in the Bordeaux area? Check out our one-week itinerary for Bordeaux.
Must-Visit Wineries for Wine Tasting in Bordeaux
As mentioned previously, the Bordeaux wine region is very large. It can be broken up into areas of popularity, for the sake of simplifying your wine tasting route. Be aware that tours and tastings at most of the chateaux is by appointment only. Don’t count on showing up and there being someone available to welcome you.
It’s best to begin this process around 2 weeks before arriving. I suggest making reservations through the Rue des Vignerons links I’ve included below, or contact the wineries individually.
Left Bank Wine Tasting
First, you have the Left Bank. In the left bank, the top appellations are Medoc, Haut Médoc, Saint-Estephe, Margaux, Saint Julien, Pauillac, and Pessac-Leognan.
Medoc might be the most popular of these, but definitely not the only place to do some great wine tasting on the Left Bank. Just don’t expect to get in to all of – or any of, for that matter – the First-Growth Chateaux. Instead, try to visit the Chateaux that you already drink wine from.
If you’re new to the world of Bordeaux wine, then I suggest you choose a spot on the map and find a cluster of Chateaux that are within easy distance of each other and just try something new!
Must-Visit Chateaux on the Left Bank
Be sure to make reservations well in advance of your visit and leave at least 2 hours for each visit.
Located on a hill at the highest point in the Saint-Estephe appellation, this is a family-run château that is one of the five Grands Crus Classés in this appellation. They offer wine tours and tastings by appointment only. You can book a tasting for 2 or 3 wines, or a traditional tour, or an experience tasting with their Primeur wine taken from the barrel, a vintage of their second wine “Pèlerins de Lafon-Rochet” and two other vintages. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
A highly regarded cellar, this 3rd Grand Cru Classé in Margaux hosts tours and tastings, as well as lunches and dinners in their grand castle location. The family has been involved in the production and trade of Bordeaux wines for 8 generations. An authentic, warm and intimate environment. You can book an interactive tour and tasting, a private tour, or a tasting with bread and cheese. Contact: email@example.com
Chateau Lamothe Bergeron
Located between Margaux and Saint-Julien, the Château Lamothe Bergeron has a 67 ha vineyard on the Haut-Médoc appellation. Its wine reflects the quality of the terroir marked by the Garonne river and it has Cru Bourgeois status since the 19th century.
When you visit, you can tour their fully-restored building from the 19th century and do a tasting. They have an introduction to wine tasting that includes 3 of their wines, or you can add on a vineyard and cellar tour. They also have a tour and tasting followed by a picnic in the garden.
Chateau Marquis de Terme
With 40 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, Château Marquis de Terme produces mesmerizing wines, medium to full bodied wines, with supple tannins, lots of depth and amazing aromas. It’s been a family-owned operation since 1935.
They offer a lot of different programs for visitors, from a simple tasting of their wines, to a tour and tasting, a guided bike ride through the Margaux vineyards, followed by a tour of the château, and a tasting, and even a wine and chocolate pairing workshop.
Chateau du Taillan
Château du Taillan has been a family property since 1896 but today five sisters hold the reins of the Château, located at the gateway to Bordeaux and the Médoc. Their beautiful property was classified in February 2020 as a “Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel”.
A visit to Chateau du Taillan can include tour of the 16th century vaulted cellars and in the vat house, followed by a tasting of two wines or a gourmet tasting wit charcuterie and farmhouse cheeses. Click below to check out all the options and make an appointment.
For more than 250 years, Château Angludet’s vineyards have been located in Cantenac, on the prestigious terroir of Margaux. Today, Château Angludet is the wine estate of the Sichel family, a wine merchant in Bordeaux for six generations.
Tasting appointments take place on their terrace in the gardens of the property. You can enjoy one of the 8 private tasting areas and try some wines by the glass or bottle, platters of cold meats and cheese and even dessert pairings (if reserved in advance).
Chateau de la Haye
Château La Haye is one of the oldest wine estates in Saint-Estephe and has remained within the same family for 370 years. According to legend, this château served as King Henri II and Diane de Poitiers’ hunting lodge. At the time Henri II was married to Catherine de Medici. Rich! Their monogram, H and D is interlaced and engraved in stone at the entrance to the Château.
Here you can do a free tour and tasting, or even a private romantic tasting with wine and chocolates in a 16th century setting. Click the link below to see the options.
Where to Stay in the Left Bank
There are many chateaux on the Left Bank that have accommodations. You could choose to stay at one where you can also have a tour and tasting included. Here are two great choices:
★ Château La Tour Carnet: Find the best deal on Expedia. Compare prices and read reviews on TripAdvisor.
★ Château Ormes de Pez in St Estephe: Find the best deal on Expedia. Compare prices and read reviews on TripAdvisor.
Wine Tasting in Graves/Pessac Leognan
If you have some extra time in your schedule, another good place for wine tasting is Graves, Pessac Leognan appellation. This area has its own unique micro-climate and soil conditions which lead to it being suitable for both the production of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as white grape varietals.
For this reason, you’ll find a more even balance of both of the major Bordeaux grapes in the wines of this appellation. They are also classified until a separate Classification.
Must-Visit Chateaux in Graves and Pessac Leognan
Chateau Pape Clement
This is one of the oldest Grand Crus of Bordeaux. Aside from the fact that the grounds and the chateau itself are incredibly beautiful, Chateau Pape Clement offers a wide range of activities for visitors, from tours and tastings, wine workshops and creating your own wine, to horse-carriage rides through the vineyard. You can also stay overnight in the lovely hotel. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
This family-owned wine estate in part of the Grand Cru Classe of Graves. They have 6 ha that were planted in 1989. They offer tours and tastings, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides, and B&B accommodations. You can book a simple tasting, a carriage ride and tasting, a gourmet tasting, or a 2-hour tasting workshop Contact: email@example.com | Website
Château Couhins is located at Villenave d’Ornon. It was ranked in 1959 when it was owned by a wine merchant family, but is now owned by the INRA “Institut National de Recherche Agronomique”, which has saved it from disappearing in 1968. They’ve won many awards for their tourism offerings. You can book a tour and a tasting.
Château de Rouillac
The historic Château de Rouillac belonged to the famous Baron Hausmann, who acquired the estate in 1864. He commissioned numerous works and linked horses to the history of Rouillac, where he had beautiful stables built. Since then, the estate has produced excellent red wines. They have a tour and tasting, a chocolate pairing, and a vertical tasting available.
Chateau Latour Martillac
Château Latour-Martillac, a Graves Cru Classé since 1953, got its name from the tower in the main courtyard, a vestige of a fortress built in Martillac in the 12th century by the ancestors of the famous philosopher and winemaker Montesquieu. The red and white wines of Latour-Martillac are recognised as the best of the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
Where to Stay in Pessac
We chose not to stay in Graves, as we stopped by the chateaux we wanted to visit in between stays in Bordeaux city center and Saint-Emilion. But if you have time and want to stay a few nights in Graves, then we have one highly-recommended suggestion:
Chateau Pape Clement: Find the best deal on Expedia.com. Compare prices and read reviews on TripAdvisor.
Holiday Inn Bordeaux Sud – Pessac, an IHG Hotel: Find the best deal on Booking.com. Compare prices and read reviews on TripAdvisor.
Right Bank Wine Tasting
We love the town of Saint-Emilion and think it’s the perfect place to do some wine tasting and to discover the beauty of Bordeaux. The Right Bank has a decidedly more relaxed, unpretentiousness that is welcoming to guests, even if you don’t know much about wine.
If you base yourself in or near Saint-Emilion, you can easily get around to the biggest appellations on the Right Bank, which are Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Of course there are other, smaller appellations too, but these are the main ones where the classifications of Saint-Emilion come from.
If you have a car, you can very easily drive yourself between the chateaux. The roads are very good and well marked. You can’t miss seeing the chateaux dotting the landscape as you drive along. We even found that they are much close together than we imagined they’d be from the map. It often took us only 5 minutes to drive between the chateaux on our itinerary.
If you’re scheduling your own itinerary, you’ll want to leave about 1.5 hours for each tour/tasting and driving time. Any more than that might leave you wandering around trying to find something to do in between. We also suggest stopping for a long, leisurely lunch.
Must-Visit Chateaux on the Right Bank
Take a look at the map above to determine which ones you think might fit your itinerary the best. They are all within a pretty small area, so it won’t require a lot of driving to get between them.
Chateau de Candale
This is one of the few chateaux that offer lunch and dinner. While it’s a bit farther from the center of town, it’s worth the drive. The restaurant l’Atelier de Candale, is owned by a famous winemaker and cooper, Jean Louis Vicard. The outdoor patio is perfect for al fresco dining with a view of the vineyards. You can also take a tour and have a tasting. Contact
Château de Pressac
Château de Pressac, a Grand cru classé since 2012, is a prestigious winery of St Emilion with a strong medieval history. The Chateau was built in the 14th century. The first grape variety which was used for their wines was the “Noir de Pressac”, which is now called “Malbec”. Tours and tasting costs are 25€ and 35€.
Château Cadet Bon
The Château Cadet Bon is a famous Grand cru classé winery with a biological / organic approach. Its wines are composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Their vines are located on one of the most typical terroirs of St Emilion, so you can taste the quintessential wine of the area. The soil is composed of three types of minerals which provide the wine’s complexity. Wine tours are from 13€.
The Château Bernateau is a family-owned winery with 8 generations of winegrowers. The winery has an organic approach and is located 5 minutes from the medieval city, on a beautiful spot that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are tours and tasting available along with a guided walk through the vineyard.
Château Grangey is family owned organci winery just 5km from St Emilion. It was built 3 centuries ago and has a strong history. Franck and Elodie (the winegrowers) describe themselves as wine lovers who are happy to share their passion with visitors and to invite them into their world. Their tour and tasting is 15€ or 40€ with a vertical tasting of their premier wine, Château Grangey.
Château Beau Séjour Bécot
This is an iconic chateau of St Emilion, awarded “Premier Grand Cru classé”. The setting and experience are breathtaking, exactly as you would hope for a Bordeau winery. The Becot Family, who have been established in ST Emilion since the French Revolution, bought the winery in 1969 and it was classified as a Premier Cru in 1996.
The soil of the vines has an exceptional terroir composed of calcaire, which is very unique. They also have 7 hectares of ancient limestone quarries that form a perfect cellar for tens of thousands of bottles of wine. The wine tours and tasting are more expensive here (from 41€), but it’s worth it.
This chateau is a small, family-run winery right in the heart of Saint-Emilion. It has been in the family for many generations. There is a really extensive and incredible underground cave cellar that you can tour, which ends in a wonderful tasting of their Grand Cru Classe wine. It is essential to make a reservation prior to visiting the cellar. Make a reservation online.
Chateau La Dominique
This Chateau is a Grand Cru Classe in Saint-Emilion, with high quality wines and a really interesting cellar, designed by famous architect Jean Nouvel. Stay for lunch or have a nice relaxing dinner at the restaurant, Le Terrace Rouge, where you’ll have a lovely view of the vineyards from their unique red stone terrace.
This is one of the only Chateau that we found where you can stop by the tasting room for a wine tasting (no tour) without an appointment. Make an appointment or restaurant reservation.
Château Chauvin, a Grand Cru Classé since 1955, has belonged since 2014 to the Cazes-Régimbeau family, who are also co-owners of the famous Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac, a pioneer in wine tourism, which has been receiving numerous visitors for decades.
Just 40 km from the centre of Bordeaux, this small family estate offers a friendly stopover with a visit to the new cellars. Click below to book a tour and tasting.
Chateau Franc Mayne
Château Franc Mayne is a Grand Cru Classé in Saint Emilion. They do traditional farming with horses on sloping plots, manual harvest and sorting, and plot vinification in order to ensure the best yield and quality. A former post house proves that pilgrims used to come here on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
The name Fombrauge comes from “Fons brogiera”, which means “water source surrounded by heathers and bushes”. The water source that garnered the name of this Grand Cru Classé still exist and is located at the heart of the vineyard. This is one of the largest wineries in Saint-Emilion, with more than 5860 hectares.
Located just 4km from the famous medieval village of St Emilion, Chateau Mauvinon is a lovely family owned estate of the prestigious Saint Emilion appellation classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The winery offers a simple tasting of 2 or 4 wines, or you can book a walk in the vineyards, a visit of the vat house and a commented tasting of 3 wines paired with 3 cheeses to better understand wine and food pairing.
Where to Stay in Saint-Emilion
When in wine country, we prefer staying somewhere surrounded by vineyards in the countryside, rather than in the city center. Both of these options are available to you in Saint-Emilion.
★ Chateau Hotel & Spa Grand Barrail – If you want the countryside experience and have a car to get around with, you absolutely must stay here We had an incredible second-floor room with a balcony overlooking the main Chateau and it was just fantastic. If you can get this room (or similar) it will add greatly to your experience in Saint-Emilion.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor or book on Expedia
★ Hostellerie de Plaisance – If you don’t have a car and would prefer to be able to walk to some of the chateaux from the city center, then this is a great choice for luxury located right in the city center.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor or book on Expedia.
How to Get to Bordeaux’s Wine Regions
Bordeaux is an easy city to reach, as it is very well connected with the rest of Europe. It is just a few hours’ train ride from Paris, making it an easy side trip. I’m not aware of any direct flights from the U.S. to Bordeaux, but there are a lot of connecting flight options (which is great news for anyone looking to take advantage of a free stopover in another major European city).
Once you’ve landed in Bordeaux, you can take a bus or the tram into the city center, or rent a car and drive to the countryside to visit the Chateaux. If your goal is wine tasting and going on Bordeaux vineyard tours, then a car is a necessity. Not that you can’t get around by public transpiration, but it will take you so much longer. We recommend booking a car through Discover Cars. They’ll find the best deal for you.
Once you’ve decided on a wine region to visit, you can make appointments to visit the Chateaux, or you can find a guided Bordeaux wine tour (either a group or private tour). This is a good option if you don’t like to drive yourself around, or if you’re not good at sipping and spitting wine.
If you only have the option of public transportation and don’t want to go on a guided tour, the easiest and best option is to visit Saint-Emilion. You can take the train directly from the center of Bordeaux to the center of Saint-Emilion. From there, you can walk to at least a dozen Chateaux.
Want to visit other great wine regions in Europe? Check out our full guide.
Learn More About the Bordeaux Wine Region
The first thing you need to know about the Bordeaux wine region is that it is split up into many different sub-regions, or appellations. There are over 290,000 acres of vineyards in the whole of Bordeaux, so it’s enormous, to say the least. With over 7,000 different Chateaux in the region, it is both the largest and most important wine growing region in France.
Throughout Bordeaux, you’ll find wines that are designated with their Bordeaux appellation on the label, as well as wines that do not have this designation. That is due to the fact that there are very strict rules governing the production and marketing of wines from this area.
In order to be labeled with the specific Bordeaux appellation, all aspects of the growing and vinification must take place within the appellation. That means the vineyards are located there, the work to create the wines is located there, and the Chateau itself is located there.
The wine must also be a blend of the grape varietals required for that appellation. For the Left Bank, that blend is heavy on the Cabernet Sauvignon, lighter on the Merlot. For the Right Bank, the blend is heavy on the Merlot, lighter on the Cabernet Sauvignon.
⇒ To learn more about Bordeaux Classifications and regulations, visit the Complete Guide to Bordeaux on The Wine Cellar Insider.
The blends are specified this way due to the nature of the soil in both of these areas. Merlot grows better in the limestone and clay soils found on the right bank, while Cabernet Sauvignon grows best in the gravel-predominant soil on the left bank.
You’ve probably already heard these territorial specification: Left Bank and Right Bank. They refer specifically to the area of land on the left and right of the River Gironde that flows through the center of Bordeaux.
On the Left Bank, you’ll find perhaps the most famous of the Bordeaux appellations, Medoc. It is in Medoc that the first wine classification began, with the Official Classification of 1855. It was during this classification that the First-Growth Chateaux were recognized, and they have remained the same ever since.
Speaking of official classifications, there are currently four such classifications in Bordeaux. The 1855 classification, the Cru Bourgeois, Classifications of Graves, and Classifications of Saint-Emilion. They all have different specifications and rules.
While the 1855 classification in Medoc has not changed in all those years, the Classification of Saint-Emilion changes roughly every 10 years, giving a periodic chance for Chateaux to earn a spot in the coveted classification.
As you can see, visiting Bordeaux for wine can be very rewarding and educational, but it can also be really overwhelming to first-time visitors. Using the above information should help you iron out a good itinerary for visiting Bordeaux’s wine regions. Then all that’s left to do is get there and enjoy the wine! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help with your planning!
Be Prepared For Travel
Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:
🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home
- Find and book the best hotel (our favorite booking site is Expedia)
- Research flight options (our favorite tool is Skyscanner)
- Book a tour (we always use Viator to find the best tours)
- Rent a car through Discover Cars (they search the best deals for you!)
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.
One thought on “Where to Go Wine Tasting in Bordeaux”
Im looking for a wine tour package that includes transport to Chateau Latiste Rothchild or Mouton Rothchild however the link you have posted to viator mentions that they only drive past but with no visit.
Happy to contact and organise directly but transport from Bordeaux city is difficult so i wondered if there was a specific tour with minibus to these vineyards as they are the only ones we want to visit.