Some of the world’s most revered wines hail from the Médoc, a wine region northwest of Bordeaux that sits along the western shore of the Gironde Estuary. This full-day tour aims to introduce you to the history, heritage and production methods used here and includes visits to local wineries where you’ll learn about the winemaking process and taste some of the estate wines. Local experts will reveal some of the stringent processes involved in meeting AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) regulations, and teach you about local wine classifications and the influence grape varietals, terroir and production techniques have on the final product.
You’ll meet your driver-guide and the small group with whom you’ll share your tour in front of the Bordeaux tourism office. From here you’ll drive out into the Médoc wine region which is located about an hour northwest of Bordeaux. The region is home to the Haut-Médoc, Margaux and St-Julien appellations which are known globally for the quality of their full-bodied reds.
The region is also renowned for the sheer number and variety of its chateaux and the landscape is littered with grand edifices dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. These historic houses are at the heart of the region’s wine estates and over the course of the day you’ll visit three local estates that have achieved the coveted AOP label. This prestigious appellation ensures the wine is produced in a consistent and traditional manner using materials specific to that geographic region.
An expert from each domaine will give you a guided tour of the grounds and the wine cellars, telling you about the history of the estate, the varietals used, and the strict rules of production. You’ll get to see the vineyards, the barrels or stainless-steel vats where the wine is stored, and learn about local production methods as well as the history of the chateaux themselves. You’ll also get to have a tasting at each estate with most of the wines being blends of cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes.
During the day you’ll stop in the port town of Pauillac which is at the heart of the Haut-Médoc wine region. The Pauillac wine appellation includes 18 crus classés, including three of the five world-renowned Bordeaux Premier Grand Cru châteaux: the Mouton Rothschild, Latour and Lafite Rothschild. You’ll have some time to enjoy lunch (not included) along the Gironde before continuing on your journey.
Between stops you’ll also get to drive through Margaux and Saint-Julien stopping to admire celebrated wineries such as Château Margaux, Château Pichon Longueville or Château Palmer. At the end of the day you’ll return with your guide to Bordeaux to be dropped off back at the tourism office.