I am planning a trip to Bordeaux in August for about a week. Any suggestions on where to stay, wineries to visit, restaurants, etc? I recently took a trip to Burgundy and some of the discussions were quite helpful. I haven't come across any suggestions about Bordeaux - so any thoughts would be very much appreciated!
Bordeaux is a really fun city and they've recently invested a lot in the waterfront especially. There are some really phenomenal restaurants and my favorites include:
Miles: one of my top 5 meals of last year - http://en.restaurantmiles.com
L'Univerre: great wine list - www.univerre-restaurant.com/univerre-restaurant.html
La Tupina: many delicious things cooked in a hearth - http://www.latupina.com/en/
Maison Fredon - associated with La Tupina and right across the street
This airbnb, which happens to be right across the street from Miles :) - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13340713
New wine museum that opened last year - https://www.laciteduvin.com/en
Catch a show at the opera house if possible
There are many bike tours of the area if you are a cyclist
Take a boat ride along the Garonne
Go have lunch in St Emilion and take in the sites, it's such a beautiful town
For setting up chateaux appointments talk to your importers and courtiers if you do any business with them, they'll really help open up the doors which sometimes can be challenging.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Graves offers excellent hospitality, including three restaurants, hotel, spa, and different tour options. Check out their website, very easy to make an appointment. They have their own on site cooperage as well!
i just got got back from Bordeaux a couple weeks ago, it was a fantastic trip. I had incredible tours at the four wineries I went to so I’ll just mention them here:
Chateau Cos d’Estournel - really cool architecture and very state-of-the-art, gravity-fed winemaking. They use absolutely no pumps at all. Really cool to see. Anaïs was our host
Chateau Langoa/Leoville Barton - very large and beautiful property with stunning gardens. More old-fashioned winemaking with wooden fermentation vats. They took extra special care of us (honestly I think because my last name is Barton and I am British), and I even got to meet Lillian Barton, who is the current winemaker and daughter of the owner. The owners still live on the property and can sometimes pop in to say hello which is really nice. Alexandra was our host
Chateau Mouton Rothschild - definitely the highlight. Winemaking facilities and tour were incredible. They have a strip of plexiglass on their wooden fermentation vats so that they can see the fermentation happening. So cool. We got to go to the art gallery which displays all of the original art for the labels dating back to 1924. Marie was our host. I won’t say how, but she went above and beyond and gave us the best hospitality we could have asked for.
Chateau Mongravey/Chateau de Braude - I visited this particular winery because I have sold a lot of their wine in my wine shop, and I have used their Haut-Medoc a lot for tastings and wine classes. This was definitely a great and informative meeting. Karin, taught me so much about the business side of things in Bordeaux which I found so interesting. If you have experience with a smaller, lesser known Bordeaux producer, I would definitely visit them. The tours are a lot more laid back and you can get some really good info out of them.
To get all of these appointments, I just wrote emails to the wineries saying why I wanted to visit them, and they all responded so warmly. On private tours, don’t be afraid to ask questions. All of our hosts were so incredibly knowledgeable and loved sharing everything they could with us.
One thing we didn’t plan so well - we stayed in the center of Bordeaux, with a car, and had early appointments on both days. I didn’t realize that getting out of the city took forever. It took us an hour and a half to get to Pauillac. And then our next appointment was late afternoon, but there was no point in going back to Bordeaux, so we just kind of had to kill/waste time in the Medoc, which was fine, but I would’ve rather been doiug other things, lol. Also where we stayed was a fantastic Airbnb, but of course it didnt have AC and it was over 90 degrees outside, so we’d have to open our windows however, seeing that it’s a really young city there were people out on the streets till the break of dawn which was really loud. Perhaps none of this will bother you, or you’ve already got it figured out, I’m just saying of the four cities we stayed in around France, this was easily the worst planned part of the trip.
Anyway, have a fantastic trip! Sorry for the super long message.
It's a pleasure to meet you via email! Thank you so very much for the all of the detailed information - exactly what I was hoping for! Also, thanks for the heads up on Bordeaux. Definitely appears to be a much larger city than Beaune, which I just visited about two weeks ago!
I'm going to reach out to several of your recommendations!
Once again, thank you for your time!
You are going to have an incredible time! Keep in mind many estates close down in August for weeks-sometimes an entire month so making appointments is critical for tastings and visits. If you have a car, a drive to Arcachon (1hour) to beach side town to escape summer heat of city. Enjoy your trip!
My favorite visit was at Chateau Gruaud-Larose. We spent ~3 hours walking the vineyards — touching, smelling, and even eating wild apricots off the neighboring trees. Highly recommend.
Also +1 for: Haut Brion, Y’Quem and Cos d’Estournal.