Bordeaux, a classic wine tour destination! Luxurious châteaux and ambitious winemakers!
— In Bordeaux you find world famous châteaux and world famous wines but also a lot of new exciting initiatives – less famous but maybe more important for the future of Bordeaux! – and young enthusiastic wine makers. On this trip we will visit both some big, famous Grand Cru Classé chateaux and smaller ones that are less known, but very quality conscious. We will visit the well-known regions like Medoc and Saint-Emilion, but also rising-stars among the regions, like Entre-deux-Mers. We will learn about viticulture, vinification and vintages and after this trip you will know quite a lot about what’s going on in Bordeaux.
Over three full days we will travel around the Bordeaux wine region and visit both prestigious chateaux and smaller family-owned estates.
There will probably be a lot of harvesting going on and we will have a golden opportunity to see what happens both in the vineyard and in the cellar during this important season.
In all the châteaux we will get private tastings together with the people who are involved in the wine making and who are delighted to share with us their passion for fine wine.
We will stay 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.
The city of Bordeaux is on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. You can read more about it in our City Guide to Bordeaux.
We will meet in Bordeaux, which is easy to reach. Bordeaux has its own airport and it is only 3 hours away from Paris by TGV-train. You will arrive on Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning our bus will pick us up for our first visits in the vineyards. Sunday is departure day.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
This exclusive tour has a maximum 8 participants so you will indeed feel very privileged.
We have written a lot about Bordeaux and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in the Bordeaux wine region.
You can also find more information on the wines from Bordeaux on BKWine Magazine.
Here are a few videos from winery visits in Bordeaux:
Programme — Bordeaux wine tour
Contact BKWine for more details.
- Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Bordeaux
- Day 2, Thursday — The Medoc, where chateau-palaces line the road
- Day 3, Friday — Entre deux Mers, Graves and Sauternes
- Day 4, Saturday — Saint Emilion, Fronsac, Pomerol
- Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home
Wednesday, September 27 — Arrival in Bordeaux
Arrival in Bordeaux. Check in at our 3-star hotel, located in the city centre.
Bordeaux city is the centre of the Bordelais wine trade. But today you see more of beautifully renovated renaissance or baroque mansions, luxurious boutiques and university students than wine warehouses.
Bordeaux is without a doubt one of France’s most elegant cities, where it lies along the banks of the Garonne River. What used to be warehouses and parking places have been transformed into a myriad of cafés, wine bars, and restaurants. Here you can find everything from Michelin starred places to friendly neighbourhood bistros.
The two things one absolutely must do is to explore The Old Town and go for a stroll along the river and see the Place de la Bourse when evening is falling!
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. We will be happy to share with you some of our favourite addresses!
Thursday, September 28 — The Medoc
Our bus will pick us up at our hotel after breakfast. We will spend the day in Medoc, home to many of the big châteaux names and famous for its wines made primarily of cabernet sauvignon.
Here in the 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.
We will drive along the route des chateaux 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.
Our bus will take us through the villages of Margaux, Saint-Julien and Pauillac and up to Saint-Estephe and we will see many beautiful and famous chateaux on the way.
You will see many famous wine estates (winery is too humble 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.
We will visit three different chateaux, both impressively big and smaller family owned ones.
At lunch time we will make a visit to a magnificent family-owned chateau.
We will first have a private tour of the cellar.
If timing coincides with the harvest we 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 that is on par with many 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.
Early evening we are back in Bordeaux. A walk along the river is a must. At dusk the famous miroir d’eau, 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.
Friday, September 29 — Graves, Pessac-Léognan and Sauternes
Today we 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 we are going to visit one of the grand chateaux in the region. We 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.
We 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 neighbours although its wines are certainly not any lesser. It now belongs to an American banker and is slowly returning to world-wide fame.
We 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 we 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!
Saturday, September 30 — Saint Emilion, Fronsac and Pomerol
Today we cross both rivers, the Garonne and the Dordogne. We 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 châteaux are smaller. This is also where you will find the most expensive wines of Bordeaux!
Here we will visit small family chateaux with high ambitions. We 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 we 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. We will have a grillade au sarments, a typical Bordeaux way of preparing your meat.
We will also have time for a stroll in the picturesque town of Saint Emilion before our afternoon visit. Saint Emilion is a wonderful medieval small town on the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
Early evening we’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!
Sunday, October 1 — Heading back home
Tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Fact sheet — Bordeaux wine tour
Dates: September 27 – October 1, 2017
Price per person: 1590 euro
Single room supplement: 200 euro
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast:
- 4 nights in the city centre of Bordeaux at 3-star Hotel Majestic
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches including prestigious wines as guests of wine chateaux
- Start and end point: Bordeaux
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
- Interpretation from French as needed, though some visits may be in English
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
This trip is limited to only 8 participants.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to Bordeaux yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
Bordeaux has an international airport that you can fly to. But if you want to spend a few extra days in for example Paris it is easy and fast to take the train between Paris and Bordeaux. It takes about 3 hours from Paris Montparnasse or around 4 hours from the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Train tickets are released for sale three months before the travel date. It is easy to book train tickets on the internet. Book train ticket in French here or book trains in English here.
For this trip to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered at the “book before” date. Maximum number of travel guests: 8.
Book This Trip
Book before: June 1, 2017
Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of 300 EUR. Full payment should be received at the latest one month before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our 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.
We put 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 experiences…
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 we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their 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 we 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 specialities, 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 we want to show you local gastronomic specialities 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 specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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- There are thousands of pictures from previous trips on BKWine Photography
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Subscribe to our free wine and travel newsletter, the BKWine Brief. Each month it gives you news from the world of wine, restaurant recommendations, tips on our favourite wine producers and much more. And keeps you updated on upcoming wine and food tours.
We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.