Bordeaux, September 30 – October 4, 2020

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Bordeaux: a classic wine tour destination with luxurious châteaux and ambitious winemakers

— Bordeaux is home to world-famous châteaux and world-class wines, but it’s also home to some exciting new initiatives, important for the future of this outstanding wine region, and some younger, highly motivated winemakers. On this trip we will visit grand cru classé estates, as well as others that are less well-known but equally quality-conscious, taking in the renowned regions of Médoc, Saint-Émilion, Graves and Sauternes. By the end of the tour we will have discussed viticulture, vinification and vintages, and you’ll be well briefed on the Bordeaux wine scene.

Tour Highlights

  • 4 nights
  • Private tastings, ca 10
  • 3 gourmet lunches
  • Expert wine guide
  • 2,600 euro
  • Médoc
  • Saint-Émilion
  • Graves
  • Sauternes

Book Now!

Over three full days we will travel around the Bordeaux wine region, visiting prestigious châteaux but also some smaller, family-owned estates.

We will enjoy private tastings at all the châteaux, welcomed by hosts who are delighted to share their passion for fine wine with us.

We will stay four nights in the city of Bordeaux, an elegant, truly beautiful city of just over half a million inhabitants. In the evenings you will have the possibility to explore the many landmarks, sights and restaurants of Bordeaux at your leisure.

The amazing Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux city
The amazing Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux city, copyright BKWine Photography
The amazing Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux city
The amazing Miroir d'Eau in Bordeaux city, copyright BKWine Photography

The city of Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage site; read more about it in our City Guide to Bordeaux.

We will meet in Bordeaux, which is easy to reach (the city has an international airport and is only 2 hours away from Paris by TGV (high speed) train. You will arrive on Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning our bus will pick us up for our first of our vineyard visits.  Sunday is departure day.

This exclusive tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides. It has a maximum of 8 participants, so you will undoubtedly feel like privileged guests.

A grand chateau in the Medoc
A grand château in the Médoc, copyright BKWine Photography
A grand chateau in the Medoc
A grand château in the Médoc, copyright BKWine Photography

Programme — Bordeaux wine tour

Preliminary programme.

Contact BKWine for more details.

There may be changes to some details of the programme, e.g. which wineries we visit. As always on our wine tours, we put great effort into making your visits both exceptional and memorable. For this reason we do not always go to the most obvious, big-name producers (where there are often a number of guides employed), choosing instead to give you a more unique, personal experience at our carefully selected estates, often (but not always) meeting the owner or the winemaker.

Programme overview

  • Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Bordeaux
  • Day 2, Thursday — Médoc, la Route des Châteaux
  • Day 3, Friday — Saint-Émilion
  • Day 4, Saturday — Graves and Sauternes
  • Day 5, Sunday — Departure for home

Wednesday, September 30 — Arrival in Bordeaux

Arrival in Bordeaux. Check in at our 4-star hotel in the city centre.

The city of Bordeaux is the centre of the Bordeaux wine trade. But today you’ll see more beautifully renovated Renaissance or baroque mansions, luxury boutiques and university students than wine warehouses.

Situated on the banks of the Garonne river, Bordeaux is without a doubt one of France’s most elegant cities. What used to be warehouses and car parks have been transformed into a multitude of cafés, wine bars and restaurants. Here you can find everything from Michelin-starred dining destinations to simple neighbourhood bistrots.

When in Bordeaux, there are two “must-do” items for your list. One is to explore the Old Town on foot, soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the many characterful streets and squares. The other is to take a stroll at dusk along the river banks and admire the magnificent Place de la Bourse as the light falls. 

Evenings are free to explore the city: maybe call in at a bar and try a Lillet, a fragrant, wine-based apéritif created by brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet in 1872? It found fame thanks to an appearance in the James Bond film Casino Royale, and it is still made in the original location today. Just ask us and we’ll happily share some of our favourite Bordeaux addresses.

Cafés and restaurants in Bordeaux city
Cafés and restaurants in Bordeaux city, copyright BKWine Photography
Cafés and restaurants in Bordeaux city
Cafés and restaurants in Bordeaux city, copyright BKWine Photography

Thursday, October 1 — The Médoc

Our bus will pick us up at our hotel after breakfast. We will spend the day in Médoc, home to many of the major châteaux and famous for its wines made primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here in the Médoc the vines grow on a narrow strip of land along the Gironde estuary, sheltered from the rain and Atlantic Ocean winds by the pine forest area of Les Landes.

We will drive along the route des châteaux heading north on a spectacular journey, passing magnificent fairytale châteaux dotted along the road like a string of pearls as our bus takes us through the villages of Margaux, Saint-Julien and Pauillac, and up to Saint-Estèphe.

You will see many world-famous wine estates and gently rolling hills with vineyards planted predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon. The best have a view over the river, or so it is said.

We will visit three different châteaux, including impressive grand cru classé names and smaller, family-owned domaines.

At lunch time we will visit a magnificent, family-owned château and start with a private tour of the cellar.

If our visit falls during harvest time, we will see the meticulous sorting of the grapes, a key element in producing top quality wine, carried out when the fruit arrives at the winery.

This is followed by a wine tasting and lunch. This is an exceptional gastronomic experience on a par with a luxury restaurant meal, the only difference being that you will enjoy it in the calm setting of the dining room of the château, or in the garden, weather permitting. Naturally, a selection of wines will be matched with the various courses.

By early evening we will be back in Bordeaux. A riverside walk is a must. The famous water mirror feature in front of the Place de la Bourse is at its most spectacular at dusk. There are also many excellent restaurants along the newly renovated and redesigned river banks.

A barrel cellar in a chateau in Bordeaux
A barrel cellar in a chateau in Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography
A barrel cellar in a chateau in Bordeaux
A barrel cellar in a chateau in Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

Friday, October 2 — Saint Emilion

Today we cross both rivers, the Garonne and the Dordogne, visiting the rive droite (Right Bank) of Bordeaux: Saint-Émilion, Fronsac and Pomerol.

The landscape is hillier here than in the Médoc and the châteaux are smaller. This is also where the most expensive wines of Bordeaux are to be found.

Here we will visit small family estates with high ambitions. We will have the opportunity to walk in the vineyards, and the winemakers will explain how they work to get the very best grapes, which is of course of utmost importance to the final quality of the wines. One of the châteaux we will visit is certified organic.

Lunch will be at a renowned grand cru classé property with an impressive, state-of-the-art winery and a spectacular limestone cellar, the same stone which over the years has been painstakingly hewn and used to build houses in the area. After the visit, a delicious lunch will be served in the dining room of this smaller château.

There will be time for a stroll in picturesque Saint-Émilion before our afternoon visit. This charming, small medieval town features on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is not to be missed.

We will arrive back at our hotel in Bordeaux in the early evening. The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy discovering the city centre. If you haven’t already done so, take a walk  and admire the magnificent architecture of the Old Town.

The Medieval town of Saint Emilion
The medieval town of Saint Emilion, copyright BKWine Photography
The Medieval town of Saint Emilion
The medieval town of Saint Emilion, copyright BKWine Photography

Saturday, October 3 — Graves and Sauternes

Today we head south to the regions of Pessac-Léognan, Graves and Sauternes. Pessac-Léognan and Graves are known for red wines as well as dry white wines, while Sauternes makes some of the world’s most delicious sweet wines.

In Sauternes our group will visit one of the area’s grand châteaux. Here we will learn about the painstaking process by which these exclusive wines are made (each parcel of vines is carefully harvested several times to make sure that only the best grapes are picked), and the noble rot which brings not only sugar but also the rich honey and spice notes for which Sauternes is recognised.

During our visit we will taste several different vintages to see how a Sauternes wine evolves.

Lunch will be served in the elegant dining room of a grand château in the Pessac-Léognan area. An enclave in the Graves region, the Pessac-Léognan appellation was created in 1987. It is close to the city centre and today some of the châteaux are totally surrounded by suburban housing.

We will visit the vineyard and the cellar before enjoying a lunch prepared by an extremely talented chef and paired with a selection of excellent wines, creating a gastronomic experience worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant.

In the afternoon we will have our last visit of the day at a château in the Graves appellation where our group will taste both red and white wines.

The white wines of Bordeaux are truly magnificent and well worth trying, particularly as today, less than 10% of wines made in Bordeaux are white. Compare this with 50 years ago, when white wine accounted for half of this region’s production, and you will understand that this is an excellent opportunity to taste some of the best examples of what is a shrinking category.

We will return to Bordeaux in the early evening. Once again, you are free to enjoy the city’s vast choice of restaurants and wine bars. Don’t forget to savour a glass of Sauternes with your dessert.

Grapes ready for harvest in Bordeaux
Grapes ready for harvest in Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography
Grapes ready for harvest in Bordeaux
Grapes ready for harvest in Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

Sunday, October 4 — Heading back home

The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.

There may be changes to some details of the programme, e.g. which wineries we visit. As always on our wine tours, we put great effort into making your visits both exceptional and memorable. For this reason we do not always go to the most obvious, big-name producers (where there are often a number of guides employed), choosing instead to give you a more unique, personal experience at our carefully selected estates, often (but not always) meeting the owner or the winemaker.

Go For It!

We’d love to have you with us.

Decanting wine and preparing the tasting, Bordeaux
Decanting wine and preparing the tasting, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography
Decanting wine and preparing the tasting
Decanting wine and preparing the tasting, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

More travel information

Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:

Even more info

We have written a lot about Bordeaux and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.

Read more about travelling in the Bordeaux wine region on our travel blog.

You can also find more information on the wines from Bordeaux in BKWine Magazine, our online wine magazine.

Here are a few videos from winery visits in Bordeaux:

The Bordeaux Wine Book

One of the many internationally award winning wine books we, the BKWine Tours founders, have written is on Bordeaux, but unfortunately it is not currently available in English.

As far as we know, no other wine tour operator has a track record of authoring ten or more wine books, so you can feel confident that you will get the most competent and high-quality wine tour with BKWine.

Bordeaux, the Wines, the Region, the Producers, in the series Guide to the Wines of the World

Tour Details — Bordeaux Wine Tour

Dates: September 30 – October 4, 2020

Price per person: 2,600 euro

Single room supplement: 190 euro

Included in the price:

  • 4 nights hotel accommodation, double occupancy, including breakfast in 4-star Hotel Majestic in central Bordeaux
  • Meals as described in the programme above (*):
    • 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches including prestigious wines; at least 2 of the lunches at a wine château
  • Start and end point: Bordeaux
  • Bus transport during the whole trip
  • All vineyard and winery visits
  • Private, top quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
  • Translation from French as needed (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.

Not included:

  • Travel (flights etc) to the destination and back to your home location.

You are responsible for organising your travel to and from Bordeaux.

If you would like assistance 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 regular, non-wine related tourism too. We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights as needed.

Bordeaux-Mérignac is an international airport, but if you want to spend a few extra days in (for example) Paris, it is quick and easy to take the train from Bordeaux to Paris. It takes about 2 hours from Paris-Montparnasse station, or around 3 hours from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. Train tickets are normally released for sale three months before the travel date. It is easy to book train tickets on the internet; book train tickets in French here or book trains in English here.

For this tour to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered by the “book before” date. Maximum number of tour participants: 8.

Book This Tour

Book before: June 15, 2020

Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of 300 euro. 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.

It is important that your read our travel booking terms and conditions.

We also invite you to read more on why you should travel with BKWine, about customer protection, and about what you can expect from our wine tours in the section below “More on our wine tours”.

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: info@bkwine.com, or use the contact form below

“I want to book this tour” or “I want more info.”

(*) = required

Important: We automatically send you a copy of this email when you submit it. If you have not received it within a few minutes: 1) check your spam folder, 2) consider resending it, you might have misspelled your email address. Or simply send us a normal email using our address noted just above.

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More on our wine tours

Why travel with BKWine?

We are Britt and Per Karlsson. We are specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also experts in wine in general. We are internationally published wine writers and have written ten award-winning wine books.

No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tourism and gourmet travel.

We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours, and this is what we love to do. We take it very seriously (it is not a sideline or a hobby), and what we want more than anything is to share all these wonderful experiences with you.

All our tours are led and managed by guides who have in-depth wine knowledge, and in many cases we lead the tours ourselves.

Read more on why you should choose BKWine for your wine and food tour.

Thousands of happy customers

Over the years, thousands of wine lovers have travelled with us. Many come back to tour again with BKWine to new wine regions. Our record-breaking client has been on more than ten BKWine tours. We are happy and proud to have such faithful customers.

Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.

Awards and Mentions

We’re pleased and proud to have received many accolades, including:

  • “World’s Top Wine Tours” (Travel+Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine)
  • “Best wine tasting holidays” (AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours)
  • “Recommended Wine Tours” (Munskänkarna, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association)
  • “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” (Gourmand International awards) and many other book prizes
  • Three OIV book awards
  • “Wine Personality of the Year 2011” (an honour bestowed on Britt Karlsson by Munskänkarna, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association)
  • Inclusion on the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International magazine

About the wine producers and wineries we visit

Our aim is for you to experience some of the very best and most interesting aspects of the wine world, in terms of wine and food.

We put great effort into creating outstanding winery visits, and in this way we are quite different to many wine tour organisers. It is not always the most renowned, internationally known estates that offer the best experiences. Organising a wine tour featuring famous names of the wine world is relatively easy: it is merely a question of making lists and ticking boxes. On these kind of “bucket list” wine tours, you rarely meet the winemaker or the owner. You will simply be one of thousands of visitors they receive each year.

We do things differently. With BKWine Tours, you will meet the people behind the label, often the winemakers and/or the owners. Thanks to them, you will have a unique, truly personal experience and an insight into the wine world that no one else can offer. When you travel with BKWine, you are more like a special guest than a tourist.

We have personal connections and unparalleled knowledge thanks to more than 20 years as wine journalists, with 10 wine books published, and as wine tour organisers with more than 30 years’ experience. You can be sure of getting the best wine travel experiences with BKWine Tours.

Read more on the wine producers and wineries we visit.

A true gourmet experience: food and gastronomy

For us, wine and food are intimately linked, and this is a fundamental part of our wine travel philosophy. For this reason, a wine tour with BKWine is always an outstanding culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A BKWine tour is a gastronomic voyage that explores the deep relationship between food and wine.

Read more On Meals: Food and Gastronomy on Our Tours.

Customer Protection,  Financial Travel Guarantee, and Terms and Conditions

You can always feel safe when you book your tour with BKWine. BKWine has a bonded bank guarantee that gives full protection according to EU and Swedish law. BKWine is a Swedish limited company and as such is regulated by strict rules.

Read more on Customer Protection, Financial Travel Guarantee. and our Terms and Conditions.

When you book a tour it is important that you read the terms and conditions. BKWine’s booking terms and conditions follow the guidelines developed by the Consumer Protection Agency.

Health, vaccination and allergies

Our tours have no particular health requirements although inevitably we will be walking a certain amount in wine cellars and vineyards. Sensible footwear is a must.

Most of our travel destinations have no particular health guidelines or requirements for vaccinations or medical certificates, but if in doubt, you should always consult a medical professional, vaccination centre or relevant embassy in your country of origin.

We can always accommodate food allergies. However, in order for us to manage such requests you must let us know about any allergies before the tour starts.

Read more in our FAQ and in our Terms and Conditions.

Travel insurance

BKWine does not sell travel insurance. If you want travel insurance, check if your regular home insurance policy includes some kind of travel insurance, or contact your regular insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.

Custom Tours

We also offer custom wine and food tours if you want to travel on different dates, or if you want something different to what we currently offer on our scheduled tours. This tailor-made service can be offered for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.

Important information

Our groups are always small. The number of people in the group may vary. The maximum can range from 8 to around 20; check the details in each programme. But our groups are always modest in size. This is important because it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.

Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!

You are expected to organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours, but once you are at the location, we take care of everything.

For more inspiration

Read our wine travel blog. For more, read our online wine magazine the BKWine Magazine with articles from all over the wine world.

And also:

  • Recommend this trip to a friend using the share buttons below

Newsletter on wine

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. It will also keep you updated on forthcoming wine and food tours.

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