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 Class châteaux 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.
Next wine tour to 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.
Details varies: Harvest grapes, blending seminar, the influence of oak etc
Depending on the season the program will look slightly different.
In autumn we may have a morning with you getting your hands dirty harvesting grapes, finished with a harvesters’ lunch (but we promise some really nice wines to go with it). It is always unpredictable when the harvest will be, up until only a few weeks or days before the harvest.
In spring you may instead have the opportunity to see the young and sprouting vines when they are bursting into life in the vineyards. Visiting the vineyards in springtime is a totally different experience. A side benefit is that the winemaker often have more time when it is not harvest time.
We may include a blending seminar where you will get the chance to create your own wine from “base wines” from different grape varieties, just like the wine makers do. You will have the opportunity to see how different grape varieties interact or the importance of oak.
Perhaps in a chateau-hotel?
Often we stay in the city of Bordeaux, an elegant and very beautiful city of just over half a million people. In the evenings you will then have the possibility to explore Bordeaux, the sights and the many restaurants, at your leisure. As an alternative, sometimes we stay in a country hotel or vineyard auberge or in one of the exclusive and luxurious chateau-hotels.
Another possibility is that we stay in the medieval village of Saint Emilion, in the middle of the vineyards and a Unesco World Heritage site.
But whatever the season and the details of the program it will be a unique and exceptional experience to travel in Bordeaux with BKWine. Join us for a few unforgettable days in the world’s most famous wine region!
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
More travel information
Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:
- France FAQ: tipping, restaurants, transport, shopping
- Bordeaux City Guide
- Saint Emilion, a short city guide
Even more info
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
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
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 — Blend your own wine workshop, or wine harvest; Entre-deux-Mers, Saint Emilion & Pomerol
- Day 4, Saturday — Graves and Sauternes; and a 100% sauternes lunch
- Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home
Wednesday, Day 1 — 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, Day 2 — 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 chateaux 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.
Late afternoon we cross the rivers Garonne and Dordogne to arrive in Saint Emilion. Here we will stay for two nights.
Saint Emilion is a charming, small town with steep cobble stone streets, cafés, restaurants, old houses and a superb view over the vineyards from the village square. All the buildings a built using the famous regional limestone that gives them a distinct character, almost like a glow.
Many of the chateaux in Saint Emilion have impressive underground wine cellars that once were quarries. The town itself is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage and is a very well preserved medieval village.
The evening is free to explore Saint Emilion. There are several restaurant and wine bars.
Friday, Day 3 — Blend your own wine workshop, or wine harvest; Entre-deux-Mers, Saint Emilion & Pomerol
We board the bus after breakfast for a day when we will get to try some of the winemaker’s tasks!
We start with a visit to an interesting family-owned chateau that will give you an insight into what life as a winemaker is like. Here it is quite different from the big names in the Medoc (often owned by corporations).
We will have a very special activity: a blend your own workshop. You will get to test your talents in dowing one of the winemaker’s most important task: blending the different “raw materials” that he has in barrels and tanks in the cellar to the perfect cuvée, with different grape varieties and oak ageing.
You will learn what to do to get the best balance in the wine. This is an important milestone for the wine producer and requires both a keen nose and knowledge.
Alternatively, depending on time of year and weather, you will be “put to work” in the vineyard to harvest your own grapes.
After a short visit to the wine cellar the hard work begins, harvest. You will get a pair of vineyard worker’s secateurs and a basket. After a quick instruction on how to harvest it is time to start. But be careful not to cut your fingers!
After a few hours “hard” work in the vineyard we will bring the grapes into the winery and see what happens next.
When the blending is done, or the harvest work is finished, you will be invited to sit down for a delicious winery buffet with local specialities at the winery. With that we will taste the chateaux’s own (already blended!) wines.
Then we cross the Dordogne River to the so called Right Bank (rive droite) where we will visit Saint Emilion and Pomerol.
The landscape is hillier than in the Medoc and the châteaux are smaller. This is also where you will find the most expensive wines of Bordeaux!
We will visit a well-known château in Pomerol and since the owners also have a property in Saint Emilion we will have the opportunity to compare the two districts side by side.
The vineyards are small but the wines can be very different depending on the soil, the grape varieties and the vinification.
Early evening we are back in the town of Saint Emilion. The evening is free to explore one of the talented restaurants.
Saturday, Day 4 — Graves and Sauternes; and a 100% sauternes lunch
After breakfast we put our bags in the bus and head to the Left Bank, rive gauche.
Today we will visit the Graves district and Sauternes. We start with a visit in Pessac-Léognan, the most northerly part of Graves. Here they make both red and white wines, both of very high quality.
There are several big as well as famous châteaux in the Graves. It is also the only wine region in Bordeaux that is famous for its dry white wines. Our itinerary takes us to one of the best estates in Pessac-Léognan.
After the morning visit we head for Sauternes. We will visit one of the top chateaux in this region that is famous for its sweet white wines. You will get an introduction to how these concentrated, sweet wines are made, a complex and peculiar procedure.
The chateau invites us for lunch in their dining room where we will have an extraordinary lunch where all dishes are accompanied by a different vintage of their sauternes wine. A very unique and memorable experience!
The chef has prepared a number of dishes for us so that you will be able to try what food and wine pairings are the best. You will taste several different vintages. A unique lunch that is a gastronomic feast and a vinous experience of rarely seen class.
One more visit is on the schedule for the afternoon, either in the Graves or in the Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux appellation beautifully situated along the Garonne River.
Graves has its name from is gravelly soil that both gives good drainage and heat to the roots of the vine. Just like in Pessac-Leognan there are both red and white grapes. The chateaux in Graves are mainly small and often family owned. Now is your chance to ask all the questions that you have not yet had an answer to during the trip.
Early evening we check into our hotel in Bordeaux. The rest of the evening is free to discover the city centre. Perhaps a walk in the Old Town and along the river. The beautiful façades are a must to see!
Sunday, Day 5 — Heading back home
The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — Bordeaux wine tour
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast:
- 2 nights in the city centre of Bordeaux
- 2 nights in Saint Emilion
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches including prestigious wines; at least 2 of the lunches at a 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
- One morning with
- Blend your own wine workshop, alternatively
- Harvest in the vineyard
- 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.
- 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. [For custom made tours the number of participants is flexible, according to agreement with the client.]
Book This Trip
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:
- Recommend this trip to a friend using the Share/Save (add-to-any) button below!
- 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.