10 best Bordeaux vineyards

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 05.07.2023

Enjoying near-perfect climatic conditions, France’s beautiful Bordeaux Wine Region circles the city of Bordeaux. Producing around 500 million bottles a year, this is the largest quality wine district in the world. With such staggering numbers — and quality — it’ll come as no surprise that this region boasts a bounty of opportunities for visitors to unleash their inner sommelier. With that in mind, read on discover the 10 best Bordeaux vineyards. Santé!  

Left Bank and Right Bank wines in Bordeaux

First things first. If you’re keen to understand the region’s wines, be aware that the Bordeaux Wine Region is divided into two areas.

This comes as a result of the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers dividing Bordeaux itself. So, we have the Left Bank and the Right Bank, with the zone between two rivers known as the Entre-Deux-Mers.

Meaning “between two seas”, this stunning subregion and appellation offers a tremendous variety of wines.

In fact, Entre-Deux-Mers has nine AOCs (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). This is the certification granted by the French government to ensure all wines, cheese and certain agricultural products are produced in the region of their origin, using specific ingredients. 

In all, Bordeaux includes encompasses dozens of appellations and 38 sub-regions. This makes it France’s largest appellation wine producer. 

As for the grapes, the principle varieties used to create Bordeaux’s world-esteemed wines are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

These are followed by Cabernet Franc, which produce medium body wine with good acidity, and Petit Verdot. Bordeaux wines made from these red varieties are known as “Bordeaux Blend”. 

Though 90% of the wine produced here is red, the region also has a white Bordeaux blend.  

While its primary grapes are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, Muscadelle is also sometimes used in this blend. 

Saint Emilion, Bordeaux vineyard, France © FreeProd33/Shutterstock

St Emilion is home to some of the best Bordeaux vineyards © FreeProd33/Shutterstock

10 best Bordeaux vineyards to visit 

Producing over half of France’s quality wine output and ten percent, by value, of the world’s wine trade, Bordeaux is a veritable paradise for oenophiles. And touring the local vineyards and sampling home-grown wines is one of the great pleasures of Bordeaux.  

The wine regions lie in a great semicircle around the city of Bordeaux. This begins with the Médoc in the north, then skirts east through St-Émilion, before finishing south of the city among the vineyards of the Sauternes.  

Without further ado, read on to discover the 10 best Bordeaux vineyards to visit.

1. Château de Pressac 

Kicking off in sumptuous, style, Château de Pressac is a medieval castle with fascinating history, and (you’ve guessed it!) fabulous wine. 

Located on a lofty promontory above the Dordogne River and scenic slopes of Saint-Êmilion, Château de Pressac has had majestic presence over the valley for over six centuries. 

With its name deriving from a grape variety, the château’s history is bound with wine-making. For example, between 1737 and 1747, the estate was planted with Auxerrois, a grape variety that later become known as “Noir de Pressac”. 

Skipping to the 21st-century, 2012 saw Château de Pressac elevated to esteemed Saint-Êmilion Grand Cru Classé status. This came as a result of its excellent terroir, vineyard and quality of its wines.

As for those wines, the iconic Château de Pressac is noted for its “controlled power”, with a distinctive crimson colour, black and red fruit aromas, and peppery notes.  

In addition, Château Tour de Pressac is smooth and easy to drink, with a lighter crimson colour.

Meanwhile, La Rosée du Château de Pressac is characterised by its floral red-fruit aromas, and vivid ruby hue.    

How to get here

Château de Pressac is part of the Saint-Émilion appellation, and located in Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse. This is within the Gironde department and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. 

It’s pretty close to Saint-Émilion, which is easily reached by train. 

The small, unmanned gare de Saint-.milion is on the Sarlat–Bergerac–Libourne–Bordeaux rail route, and about 1.6km from the village. Just turn right at the station and follow the road. 

The nearest mainline station is at Libourne. 

Tour and tasting options

Tours of Château de Pressac last 1.5 hours and cost €25 per person, with participant numbers capped at 25. Tours can be booked online

Alternatively, you could arrange a private tour. For either option, you must book ahead. 

The tour commences with an overview of the castle’s history and owners, along with information about the grape varieties and terroirs. 

Next up, you’ll visit the winery to discover the technical process involved in creating the wines. 

The experience is capped off with a tasting of three reds and a rosé.

Chateau de Pressac, France © Shutterstock

Chateau de Pressac, France © Shutterstock

2. Château Vénus

Romantic in name and rich in the passion of its owners, for in-depth experience of a particular appellation, shimmy your way to welcoming Château Vénus. 

Here you’ll get to taste fabulous wines from the Graves appellation, grown from Château Vénus’ nine acres of vines.

Though mainly planted with Merlot, they also have Cabernet Sauvignon, with Sauvignon and Semillon for white wines.

How to get here

Château Vénus is located in Illats in the Gironde department, and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France.

Tour and tasting options

Here you can book a free 30-minute tasting of four wines — one dry white Grave and three red Graves, with each appellation offering something entirely different. 

Meanwhile the “discover the work of the wine-grower” experience includes a tour of the vineyard and cellar, with a tasting of four wines.

This lasts around an hour and costs €15.

Through Château Vénus and Wine Tourism, you can also book a 20-minute flight over the Bordeaux wine region to soak up a birds-eye view of famous vineyards. 

This costs €95, with one passenger per plane.

Sunset landscape Bordeaux wineyard, France © Shutterstock

Bordeaux vineyard, France © Shutterstock

3. Chateau La Croizille and Chateau Tour Baladoz

To sample the fruits of two distinctive vineyards in one rewarding experience (with fine food), we recommend booking a tour to Chateau La Croizille and Chateau Tour Baladoz.

This allows participants to appreciates two valuable aspects of Bordeaux wine production at one fell swoop. Firstly, the practises of an authentic traditional operation. Secondly, state-of-the-art wine production process. 

With its modern wine cellar created in 2013, at Château La Croizille you’ll discover the latter. Neighbouring Chateau Tour Baladoz is on hand to showcase the workings of a traditional wine cellar.   

How to get here

Chateau La Croizille and Chateau Tour Baladoz are located close to Saint-Laurent-des-Combes. From Bordeaux, this is around 40 minutes by car.

You could also take a train to Bourg, and a bus for the onward journey. It’s also possible to take a bus the whole way.  

Tour and tasting options  

After visiting both Chateau La Croizille and Chateau Tour Baladoz, you’ll taste three Saint-Emilion Grand Cru wines, with expert commentary enhancing the experience.

This is followed by enjoying a wonderful selection of tapas on the terrace. All perfectly paired with Bordeaux wines, and accompanied by live music. 

This tour, tasting and tapas experience lasts around 90 minutes in all, and costs €45 per person. You can book it here.

Cabernet Sauvignon in Saint Emilion © Shutterstock

Cabernet Sauvignon in Saint Emilion © Shutterstock

4. Château du Taillan 

Being one the few Medoc wineries that produce white wine, touring Château du Taillan is something of a special experience.  

A family-owned estate since 1896, today Château du Taillan is run by five sisters who are passionate about the captivating castle, and know their wine. 

The owners are committed to producing strong and well-balanced wine, in keeping with the nature of their terroir.  

In addition to their Médoc Cru bourgeois, the sisters produce a rosé, and a white wine.  The latter of which is their beloved “Dame Blanche”, linked to the legend of princess who’s said to emerge from mists in the vineyard to bestow prosperity on it.

How to get here 

Château du Taillan is located in Le Taillan-Médoc, just 11km from the city of Bordeaux. 

Take a 30-minute tram, 40-minute bus, or get there by car in around 15 minutes. 

Tour and tasting options

During your tour of Château du Taillan, you’ll visit the winery, cellar, and tasting room, and will have the chance to taste three wines. 

Tours are guided by specialist wine-tourism hosts who share wine-making secrets, the history of the Château and its women, and the legend of Dame Blanche.  

Tours last an hour and cost €12 per person. Tours after 5pm and those held on Sundays cost €14. 

Row of Saint-Emilion Bottles © Shutterstock

Saint-Emilion wine bottles © Shutterstock

5. Château Sainte Barbe 

If you’re travelling with kids but don’t want to miss out on the sampling some of the best Bordeaux wine, take a Treasure Hunt tour of Château Sainte Barbe.

After joining your children on a swash-buckling pirate-themed hunt for treasure in the glorious grounds of the estate, your burgeoning buccaneers will be rewarded with a certificate and grape juice.

At the same time, you’ll get to try Saint Barb’s excellent vintages. Sounds like a win-win (or should that be wine-wine?!) situation.

How to get here 

Château Sainte Barbe is located on Route Du Burck, Ambes. 

From Bordeaux, it’s a 25-minute car journey on the A10, exit 41.  

To get here by bus from Bordeaux, take line 91 and disembark at the Gereyme stop.  

Tour and tasting options 

The Treasure Hunt at Château Sainte Barbe lasts around 90 minutes and tickets start at €3.

Once your kids have enjoyed cracking codes and riddles to find treasure in the grounds, you can taste up to three different wines, with red, white, rosé and sparkling wines available.

Chateau Sainte Barbe © Jameson Fink/Flickr

Chateau Sainte Barbe © Jameson Fink/Flickr under CC BY 2.0 license

6. Château Giscours

Being a pioneer of Bordeaux wine tourism, with 600+ years of history, Château Giscours comes highly recommended. 

Set in the stunning environs of Ferme Suzanne, the estate’s ancient farm, the vineyard’s Grand Cru Classé Château Giscours is one of the most famous Margaux wines in the world. 

Its distinct full-bodied power comes courtesy of the exceptional terroir. 

How to get here

Château Giscours is located on Route De Giscours, Labarde, Nouvelle-Aquitain. This is around an hour from Bordeaux by bus.  

Tours and tasting options 

Tasting tours cost €14 and last 1.5 hours. During the wine tasting and tour at Château Giscours, you'll visit the winery, cellar and tasting room.

You can also explore the truly glorious grounds  — the Giscours park and forest are certified Natura 2000 sites.

For a full-on feast of food and fine wine, Château Giscours also offer a "La Table de Giscours" experience, with reservations required at least two weeks in advance.

This costs €225 and includes local food specialities, and perfectly paired wine.

Chateau Giscours, France © Shutterstock

Chateau Giscours, France © Shutterstock

7. Château Fleur Cardinale

Château Fleur Cardinale started producing wine in the early 20th-century, though wine-making activity here can be traced back to 1819.  

After purchasing Château Fleur Cardinale in 2001, the current owners set about upgrading the equipment and building a new vinery. 

This resulted in Château Fleur Cardinale earing the esteemed rank of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé in 2006. 

They also produce Intuition de Fleur Cardinale, which offers an intense aromatic profile of black fruits, and Intuition de Fleur Cardinale, their first white wine.

How to get here

Château Fleur Cardinale is located in the village of. From Bordeaux, this is under two hours by car.

You could also get here in around two hours by train and bus, or 2.5 hours by bus.  

Tours and tasting options 

Tours last 1.5 hours and cost €25 for adults. This includes an immersive sensory visit to the vineyard, with the route speckled by the works of local artists.  

It’s worth knowing that Château Fleur Cardinale is no stranger to wine tourism acclaim, having been given a 2021 Best Of Wine Tourism award in the Discovery and Innovation category. 

2022 saw them receive a second Best Of Wine Tourism award in the Valuation of Environmental Practices in Wine Tourism category. 

Château Fleur Cardinale also offer an adventure-packed tour for the whole family, with fun games and juice for kids.

Saint-Étienne-de-Liss vineyard © Shutterstock

Saint-Étienne-de-Liss vineyard © Shutterstock

8. Château Destieux

Majestically sited on one of the highest peaks of Saint-Emilion, Château Destieux is unique for its splendid views and extraordinary terroir. 

A Grand Cru Classé, the Chateaux is part of the Dauriac vineyards, which also include Château Montlisse Grand Cru in Saint-Emilion, and Château La Clémence in Pomerol. 

Yields here are kept low, with the vineyards mainly planted with Merlot, plus Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Savignon.

How to get here

Château Destieux is located in Saint Hippolyte, Aquitaine.

This is around one hour from Bordeaux by car.  

Tours and tasting options 

Tours last 1.5 hours and cost from €30. 

Your visit will begin in the scenic vineyard, where you’ll be able to savour its beauty, and discover the distinct quality of the grapes. 

Next, you’ll head to the tank room and barrel cellar to discover some secrets of wine-making and aging. 

The tour concludes with tasting two cuvées of Château Montlisse, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, and one cuvée of Château Destieux, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé.

French winery in Aquitaine © Shutterstock

French winery in Aquitaine © Shutterstock

9. Chateau Loudenne

The Chateau Loudenne winery and estate welcomes visitors for wine tastings, plus picnics and lunches made with local produce. 

Its long and illustrious past has lots of links to Britain, with two British traders, Alfred and Walter Gilbey, making this property their home in 1875. 

With the port of Loudenne making it simple to ship the wines to London by sea, they developed a cutting-edge cellar and created English-style gardens.  

How to get here

Château Loudenne is located north of Bordeaux in Saint-Yzans-De-Médoc. 

Accessible from Bordeaux by train and bus, it takes just over an hour to drive.  

Tour and tasting options

From April until the end of September, from Monday to Saturday, you can enjoy a free tour and wine tasting.

As part of this, you can explore the vineyard through following signposted walking routes, and enjoy a 20-minute tasting.

Alternatively, for €23 you can book a guided tour with picnic and wine tasting. 

Or, for a full feast, book the “Ephemeral Table” lunch experience. Offered on Tuesdays from April through to September, this €39 option includes a starter, main course and a dessert or cheese, with wines of Loudenne Gouache vineyards à la carte at the property price.

La Marechale harbor, © Shutterstock

La Marechale harbour, near Chateau Loudenne © Shutterstock

10. Château de Rayne Vigneau

Located on an impressive gravel mound, Rayne Vigneau’s vineyard overlooks Sauternes, near Bommes. 

Its esteemed wine-making history extends back to the 17th-century, when “Vigneau de Bommes” was the name for the vineyard, château, and surrounding estate. 

The property itself is enchanting, with the estate covering 84 hectares in all. What's more, its prestigious tasting tours have won Best of Wine Tourism Awards. 

As for the wine, Château de Rayne Vigneau is esteemed for its Château de Rayne Vigneau Premier Grand Cru Classé de Sauternes en 1855, a fresh, intense white.

How to get here

Château de Rayne Vigneau is located in Bommes. 

By car, it takes just over 30 minutes to get to Bommes from Bordeaux. By bus, it’ll take around 1.5 hours. 

Tour and tasting options

Wine-tasting tours of Château de Rayne Vigneau last 1.5 hours and cost €28. 

During this, you’ll be shown the Château, followed by a tasting of Grand Cru Classé.

You can also try sweet white wines from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes.

For €50, you could take an unforgettable tree-top tour of Château de Rayne Vigneau.

Aided by an experienced professional supervisor, after climbing a 200-year-old cedar tree you’ll be rewarded by tasting 4-6 wines.

Château de Rayne Vigneau © Shutterstock

Château de Rayne Vigneau © Shutterstock

Tips for visiting Bordeaux vineyards

Plan your itinerary

If you’re thinking of visiting Bordeaux’s vineyards, do your research to find out which wines you most want to try, and the places you most want to visit.

If the thought of planning leaves you cold, browse our customisable France itineraries, or talk to our local experts to curate your perfect trip. 

Book ahead

To secure your preferred tours and tasting experiences in the best Bordeaux vineyards, you’d be wise to book ahead. 

We recommend browsing Wine Tourism’s staggering array of tour options — an informative, expert platform that makes booking easy.

Explore different appellations 

With dozens of appellations within Bordeaux, a delight of different tasting experiences await, and it’s well worth taking the time to try out a variety. 

It’s also worth knowing that there are five classifications of Bordeaux wine — 1855, Graves, Saint-Émilion, Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, and Crus Artisans.

Back in the days of Napoleon III, this system was introduced to indicate quality.

Engage with the experts 

During your tour, take advantage of the time you have with wine growers and expert-tasters. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about everything from cultivation and classifications, to what to look, smell and taste for in a good wine. 

Pace yourself and savour the experience!

In order to make the most of visiting the best Bordeaux vineyards, you’ll want to pace how you plan your visits, and pace your tasting! 

This is especially true if you’re planning to visit a variety of vineyards.

Don’t pack too much into a short trip, and be sure to leave plenty of time to truly savour the stunning scenery, and all those flavours.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 05.07.2023

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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