With so many years of experience of hosting private wine tours, here are a few things about the Bordeaux wine region (we think of Châteaux, wine aged in barrels and high prices!) that surprises our visitors when they come to Bordeaux;
- Bordeaux City – that it is so large and busy and not a quaint town like Beaune in Burgundy dedicated to wine. Its history is intertwined with wine since its beginning but today it numbers some of France’s largest cities. It is beautiful and vibrant, this ancient city, important port on the Garonne River since medieval times. Today its full of restaurants and cafés and its famous wine regions are 30 to 40 minutes away.
- How visits have to be booked in advance and there is no option for drop -in tasting or last-minute bookings. Visiting involves some organisation and this is where your own private guide comes in!…That the conventional wine tour is at least one hour and includes as a must a tour of the winery and indepth explanation of fermentation. Ends with tasting of two wines at the most usually. (Few options of tasting only as yet).
- How friendly the châteaux are and happy you chose them and how unpretentious
- Bordeaux has great dry white wines too although 88% produced is RED! The best places re the Graves, Pessac Léognan and Blaye!
- The amount of detail when making the wines – “precision” is the key-word and goes to explaining the prices!
- How big it is – so many châteaux (7000) over a large area – which ones to choose and how much time it takes to get from one to the another
- that buying wine is MORE espensive in the châteaux themselves and better in a reputable shop. How unimportant sales at the end of the visit is – you almost have to bend their arm to buy a bottle!
- how untouristy the region is!
- The sweet wines of the region are a knockout. Clients love them even when they start off saying – I dont like …The balance of acidity and fruit makes them beguiling and delicious. (Note to me I must get a bottle open in the fridge – they last for 3 weeks open and serve for a great pep me up!)
- the joy of visiting some of the region’s Smaller Producers (the SIPS) where you get to meet the winemaker and the family often who have made wines in these smaller estates for generations (of the 7000, only around 200 of them are ‘classified’
To book your Bordeaux wine tour that sees the real Bordeaux, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like to DIY I have just written a book that is just what you need with all of the background info on where to go to make the most of your time in a minibreak.
Bordeaux Sip by Sip – the guide to getting to the heart of the Bordeaux Wine region (to order your own copy).
Look forward to seeing you here, Nicolle
PS dont hesitate if you have any questions, with 30 years of experience I have lots of tips on what to see and do