Blaye and Bourg wine route

On the banks of the Estuary, Blaye and Bourg wine route is steeped in history dating back to the prehistoric age.

Bourg and Blaye are justifiably proud of their wines and their rich heritage.  Blaye alone has 700 wine properties over 6000 acres which welcome visitors to try their wines and explore the region.  The region also boasts the prehistoric caves, the Grotte de Pair-non-Pair at Prignac-et-Marcamps which are  definitely worth a visit between tastings!

Inspired by the Cité du Vin downriver in Bordeaux Bourg is in the midst of a wine tourism renaissance . The winegrowers in both regions have a reputation for being family friendly - most of the wineries are family owned and the wine tours and wine tastings are run by the winemakers themselves. A wonderful region to explore and to learn about wine and how it is made. 

Still not convinced? A weekend in Blaye and Bourg will charm you for sure...

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UNESCO world heritage on Blaye and Bourg wine route

Blaye and Bourg wine route, Blaye is known for its UNESCO world heritage fort constructed by the famous architect Vauban in the 17c to protect Bordeaux from invasion.

Much of the site is still intact and makes a great day out; the studios in the old barracks offer workshops such as metal forgery. 

The twice weekly market at the feet of the citadel is renowned for its selection of produce, everything from Levi jeans to live chickens!

Across the road from the citadel, the Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux Maison du vin is the place to tone up your tasting skills at one of their regular tasting sessions (details available from the tourist office), meet the wine makers and find out about what is going on in the region.

There are regular events going on throughout the year. In September the region offers the opportunity to take part in the local harvest, with a morning in the vineyards, a traditional lunch with the winegrower and an afternoon in the wine cellars.

 

On Blaye and Bourg wine route: “The Little Girond's Switzerland"

Bourg lies on the right bank of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, 35 km north of Bordeaux (20 kms by boat). Wine growing in the region dates back to the 2c AD with the first Roman vines, predecessors of today’s Cabernet. The harbour was used to ship wine in the middle ages.  The côtes de Bourg, Bourg and Bourgeois appellations were created in 1920 and are one of the oldest in Bordeaux.

Bourg, known affectionately as “The Little Girond's Switzerland", has had somewhat of a reputation as being the ‘little sister’ alongside the greats on the left bank. But things are changing. A new generation of young winemakers are stirring things up, moving away from the traditional grape varieties and assemblage associated with the slightly old fashioned Bourg vintages and some great wines are being produced.  The young winemakers are passionate about their wines and the town is showcasing its wine with a project to bring the town bang up to date with the 21c.

The city and docks have been developed to welcome cruise passengers to the town during their estuary river cruises. There is also a new ‘Maison des Vins’ with its own wine bar offering local wines with regular tastings and events on the calendar. It will also include a reception hall which seats over and hundred and an outdoor terrace with stunning views over the Dordogne.

To learn more about the history of this citadel, visit the underground and the museum of the horse-car.

 

Winery tours and tastings on Blaye and Bourg wine route

 

Planned events include new wine tourism trails (with many off the beaten track), seminars and events for professionals and amateurs alike, conferences, tasting workshops, oenologist aperitifs and wine themed events. Invited guests include cellar masters, restaurant owners, sommeliers and chefs.

The traditional wine tours are available and range from stately chateaux to small, family run properties, but the region is also offering alternatives in the form of boat trips on Western Europe’s largest estuary with  a glass of local wine in hand, accompanied by a wine grower from the region.

When traveling between Bourg and Blaye, do not miss the Route de la Corniche, a narrow and picturesque road that runs alongside the Dordogne river and the beginning of the estuary.

Traditional wine tours include great castles visits but also small family owned properties, as well as other formulas such as cruises on the largest estuary in Western Europe with a glass of wine offered for tasting by a winegrower the region

Alternatively, try the “Wine and electric bike” tour through the vineyards on one of their electric bikes.  Bike hire with a booked visit to a wine property can be tailored to include organic wines, lunch, tastings or longer trips.

There are even trips on horseback or in a horse drawn carriage which crosses the town for a wine tasting on the banks of the Dordogne, 85 feet above sea level.  What better way to spend an afternoon? Many of the neighbouring towns and villages have family run restaurants and cafés open for a quiet lunch on the terrace. 

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