The 11 best vineyards to visit around Bordeaux

château Haut-Bailly

Exploring the Gironde and its treasures? Between Médoc, Graves, Sauternais, Libournais and Bourgeais, a visit to the vineyards of Bordeaux is a must.

Bordeaux is a splendid city, home to the Gothic cathedral of Saint-André, 18th-century châteaux and the incredible Fontaine des Trois Grâces. The Bordeaux region is also world-renowned for the quality of its vineyards and wine production. If you want to shine in society, remember that the first term refers to the cultivation of vines, while the second to the production of wine. There’s a difference!

Some bottles of Bordeaux are among the tastiest and most expensive in the world. To familiarize you with this fascinating world, Generation Voyage offers you a selection of the best vineyards in Bordeaux. Explore them and learn all about the mysteries surrounding this prestigious beverage. Red, white, rosé, sparkling, dry or sweet: you’ll be spoilt for choice. Cheers, everyone!

1. Château Pontet-Canet

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Photo credit: Shutterstock – Yang Zhen Siang

  • Opening hours: 9am-1pm / 2pm-6pm, Monday to Friday
  • Location: Pauillac
  • Appellation: Pauillac

Let’s start our ranking of the best vineyards to visit around Bordeaux with the prestigious Château Pontet-Canet. This jewel of Bordeaux’s heritage was created in the 13th century by the governor of the Médoc. He decided to bring together several parcels of land around the Canet site in Pauillac. It was awarded the title of Grand Cru Classé in 1855.

Today, its 81 hectares of vines make it one of the largest vineyards in the Médoc. A proponent of organic and biodynamic viticulture, the vines are grown without chemical weedkillers, ploughed with horses and harvested by hand in the traditional way. The bottles produced are a delight to connoisseurs: if you’d like to be one of them, simply drop in for a tasting!

2. Château Cheval Blanc

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • Opening hours: by appointment
  • Location: Saint-Émilion
  • Appellation: Saint-Émilion grand cru

Saint-Émilion needs no introduction. The commune has given its name to a world-renowned appellation. The Château Cheval Blanc estate produced a first wine called Château Cheval Blanc and a second called Petit Cheval.

The wine produced from the 37 hectares of vines is a Premier Grand Cru Classé A. The grape varieties are 60% Cabernet-Franc Noir and 40% Merlot Noir. The quality of the grapes is due to the composition of the soil, which combines clay, sand and quaternary alluvium.

Resolutely focused on sustainable viticulture, this vineyard around Bordeaux applies traditional winemaking methods to modern equipment. The result? Some of the finest wines in the world. Make an appointment to visit this vineyard around Bordeaux, which is clearly worth the detour.

3. Clos du Jaugueyron

Le clos du Jaugueyron

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  • Opening hours: by appointment
  • Location: 45 Rue de Guiton, Arsac
  • Appellation: Haut-Médoc

In Arsac, Clos du Jaugueyron sublimates nearly seven hectares of exceptional terroir in the heart of the Médoc. Under the guidance of Michel Théron and Stéphanie Destruhaut, its fifteen or so plots produce less than 2,000 bottles a year.

Exclusive, with age-old know-how and respect for biodynamic farming standards, this estate around Bordeaux is one of the most highly-rated in the region. We appreciate the efforts made to preserve the qualities of the fruit and reduce chemical inputs to the soil as much as possible. The addition of sulfites is kept to a minimum, ensuring the exceptional quality of the cuvées.

The vintages are made from a variety of grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are all featured here. The managers are genuine enthusiasts who are happy to share their approach with visitors. So, what are you waiting for to visit this vineyard around Bordeaux?

4. The Saint-Amand estate

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  • Opening hours: 9am-6pm, except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Location: Saint-Amand, Cambes
  • Appellation: Cadillac Côtes-de-Bordeaux

Domaine de Saint Amand is surely THE vineyard to visit around Bordeaux. It stands out for its hillside vineyards. The property is under the responsibility of Sarah Simon, who looks after the 3-hectare vineyard. It’s one of the smallest in the region, which explains the care taken in producing these high-quality wines. The clay-limestone soil allows the grape varieties to express their full flavors.

This family-run business organizes numerous festive events and tastings throughout the year. Red, rosé and white wines: to enjoy these exceptional beverages, you can also stay at the very heart of the estate. A four-person gîte (with swimming pool!) is built on site and available on reservation. What are you waiting for?

5. Clarisse Castle

château Clarisse

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  • Opening hours: 10am-5pm, Monday to Sunday
  • Location: Puisseguin
  • Appellation: Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion

What a lovely name! Château Clarisse is one of Bordeaux’s finest vineyards to visit. Managed since 2010 by a passionate couple in the Puisseguin area, it benefits from the eponymous appellation.

Although their vines are on average 30 years old, some of them were planted 70 years ago. They cover almost 21 hectares, are Ecocert-certified organic and biodynamically cultivated on clay-limestone and clay-silica soils.

The grape varieties are Merlot (70%), Cabernet Franc (27%), Carménère, Petit Verdot and Malbec (3%). Château Clarisse is renowned for its exceptional « Vieilles Vignes » cuvée, a delight for wine lovers.

6. Château Haut-Bailly

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  • Opening hours: 9am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday
  • Location: 8 Rue de la Liberté, Léognan
  • Appellation: Pessac-Léognan

Welcome to Léognan, a commune in Gironde where vines have been grown for over 600 years. Château Haut-Bailly is a must-visit vineyard around Bordeaux, with 30 hectares of vines. It is characterized by the impressive richness of its sloping gravelly soil, which ensures favorable drainage.

Cabernet-sauvignon (60%), merlot (34%), cabernet franc (3%) and petit verdot (3%) are pampered here by a team led by Gabriel Vialard. The grapes are harvested by hand and vinified in some fifty concrete vats. A very special extraction method preserves the taste of the fruit while allowing its tannins to express themselves.

On the visitor side, Château Haut-Bailly offers frequent events and tastings, sometimes complemented by a gastronomic interlude in the heart of its superb reception rooms. They offer a splendid view of the vineyards, especially when the sun sets. Enjoy your meal!

7. Château Ausone

château Ausone

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  • Opening hours: by appointment
  • Location: Lieu-dit « Ausone », Saint-Émilion
  • Appellation: Saint-Émilion Grand Cru

The Château Ausone estate is one of the most prestigious vineyards to visit around Bordeaux. It produces succulent red wines in the AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellation.

On nearly 7 hectares, half of the vineyard is planted with Merlot Noir, the other half with Cabernet Franc. In addition to biodynamic viticulture techniques, purists appreciate traditional vinification in stainless steel or thermo-regulated wooden vats.

Here, malolactic fermentation softens the wines produced: they are among the best in the region. Château Ausone cultivates its share of mystery, which it will unveil by appointment to the delight of wine lovers. The adjoining boutique is the perfect place to treat yourself… in moderation, for your health and your budget!

8. Château Mouton Rothschild

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  • Opening hours: 9am-12pm / 2pm-6pm, Monday to Thursday; closes at 5pm on Fridays.
  • Location: Pauillac
  • Appellation: Pauillac

In the middle of the 19th century, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild acquired Château Brane-Mouton, a vineyard in the Médoc. The Rothschild family considerably improved the ancestral production process. For the record, this was the first estate in the Bordeaux region to bottle its wine in-house.

The site is renowned for its century-old « Grand Chai », some one hundred meters long. No less was needed to exploit the 91 hectares of vines, proudly planted on ideally exposed marl-limestone soil.

Premier Grand Cru Classé since 1973, its bottles are found on the world’s finest tables. Each bottle is adorned with an elegant label specially designed by an artist for each vintage. Château Mouton Rothschild wines are undoubtedly among the finest in the region. Come and taste them from Monday to Friday!

9. Château Margaux

château Margaux

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  • Opening hours: by appointment
  • Location: Margaux-Cantenac
  • Appellation: Margaux

The name certainly rings a bell. Château Margaux is to wine what Rolls-Royce is to automobiles: the best, and the most expensive. And that’s nothing new, since this must-visit vineyard around Bordeaux is one of the five « Premiers Grands Crus » in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines.

The red wines are perfectly structured, with an elegant bouquet and incomparable freshness. Tasting is reserved for professionals, but the winery is open by appointment. You’ll have free access to the estate at weekends, on public holidays, in August and during the grape harvest.

It’s well worth a visit: built in 1810, this neo-classical château is at the heart of a vast estate, 85 hectares of which are dedicated to vine-growing. Particularly refined, you’ll appreciate the respect for the 19th-century style, simply and carefully restored.

10. Château Haut-Brion

château Haut-Brion

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  • Opening hours: by appointment
  • Location: 135 avenue Jean Jaurès, Pessac
  • Appellation: Pessac-Léognan

Château Haut-Brion was built in 1525 by Jean de Pontac in the heart of the Graves terroir. This must-visit vineyard around Bordeaux is the first of the Grands Crus Bordelais. It has always followed the purest winemaking tradition, while embracing the latest technologies. For example, it was the first estate to use stainless steel for its fermentation tanks.

Today, it occupies 54 hectares of vines on exceptionally mineral-rich, carefully worked soil. The grape varieties used to make our red wines (merlot noir, cabernets, petit verdot) and white wines (sauvignon, sémillon) have been improved over the decades by meticulous, masterly selection.

Château Haut-Brion can be visited by appointment all year round. Our advice? Take advantage of the grape harvest in September to learn all about the harvesting process: it’s absolutely fascinating!

11. Château Marjosse

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  • Opening hours: 9am-12pm / 2pm-6pm, Monday to Saturday
  • Location: 640 Route de Mylord, Grézillac
  • Appellation: Bordeaux

The Domaine de Marjosse is the pride of the village of Grézillac and of the Lurton family, who run it. This family-run business covers almost 70 hectares: 54 for red wines, 16 for white wines.

The vines, on average forty years old, benefit from a complex soil structure combining sand, clay and limestone. On site, the team uses state-of-the-art techniques and an ultra-modern winery. Nothing is left to chance: mechanized harvesting, temperature-controlled vinification, ageing in French oak barrels…

It was with the 2008 vintage that Château Marjosse earned its letters of nobility and the interest of the wine world’s elite, thanks to an exceptional cuvée. The bottles offer excellent value for money, so don’t hesitate to buy a case when you visit. Your friends and family will be delighted!