Bordeaux wine route

Bordeaux has long had a reputation as a town that takes itself very seriously - too seriously perhaps - but no more. The history and culture are still here but UNESCO classified Bordeaux has shed her dowager frocks and the city of wine has become fun, lively and an award winning holiday destination. Welcome to Bordeaux, vintage 2016!

The Bordelais love their wines, and it shows. It’s a city that lives and breathes wine - from the towering new temple to world wine - the Cité du Vin - to tiny or gourmet restaurants dedicated to wine and food pairing - you’re never more than a step away from the Urban Wine Trail

From wine tours departing in Bordeaux's center to prestigious wineries's tours & tastings in the nearby : Pessac Leognan, find yourself a way to experience Bordeaux.

Selection of
guided wine tours

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Tour of the Clos de l'Echauguette and tasting of Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux wines

Visit the Bordeaux wine route

On the Bordeaux wine route, you can either stay in the historic town centre and explore the bars and terraces, or in the Chartrons, along the quais in the historic heart of the wine district and a stroll away from the Cité du vin

The hotel St-James, just outside the city centre in Bouliac has its own small but perfectly formed vineyard and you can drink their wines with your meal in the splendid restaurant and visit the chai to see how the wine is made. If you arrive during the vendange, why not wield a pair of secateurs for next year’s vintage. Head sommelier, Richard Bernard won the sommelier of the year in 1996. 

Restaurant Saint-James  

Bars and wine schools: wine tastings on the Bordeaux wine route...

Back in the town centre, try one of the many wine bars in downtown Bordeaux - but do start with CIVB which offers Bordeaux wines at cost price, in stunning surroundings, right in the heart of town. 

The food’s stylish, the advice is friendly and the wine’s good. It’s very busy in the summer and at weekends; get there early to grab a table. 

The next door wine school offers courses for everyone, from starter sessions over a couple of hours to intensive wine instruction. 

The tourist office  is the place to go to find out what’s going on wine-wise in Bordeaux.  This year the town is hosting the fete du vin on the quayside in June (tickets and details available online or at the tourist office).  The unmissable Cité du Vin opens its doors to the public in June. Do have a look at the tourist office boutique for some wine related shopping.  Their bottle stoppers make great presents.

The area around the tourist office, around the Grand Theatre and Grand Hotel is a good place to look for wine glasses, great bottles of wine and terraces to sit with a glass of wine and watch the world go by.

If you are into good wine, try a meal at L’Univerre. Described as the wine lover’s bar and restaurant, this is the place to come for seriously good wines at reasonable prices. There are 1300 wines on the list - curiosities, rare wines and outstanding wines, all chosen by the sommelier owner, with dishes to match.

For that final glass of wine before you leave town, check in to Hall B at the airport and check out the Ostrea oyster bar.  It’s where to have that last glass, with half a dozen local oysters or a light salad, and say bye-bye to Bordeaux in style…

The Bordeaux wine route through the history

A love affair that dates back to the 1st century AD

Bordeaux’s love affair with the grape dates back to the first century AD with the discovery of a grape variety that could withstand the brisk Bordeaux frosts

Pliny the elder talks of Bordeaux vines in his writing and amphorae mentioning Bordeaux were found in Pompeii.

The English strode onto the wine scene in the 12c, with the marriage between Eleanor d’Aquitaine and the English king Henry II (Bordeaux was served at the wedding, of course!), and trade flourished until the 100 years war. 

It picked up again in the 17C with the arrival of the Dutch , then the English and Irish , all of whom had a hand to play in creating today’s Bordeaux.

The Dutch drained the swampland that is now the Medoc, now one of the finest wine regions in the world. They also invented using sulphur as a means of sterilising barrels.

The English desire for Claret has never faltered, even when relations were tense, wealthy Englishmen found the means to purchase and import wines back to Britain. Later, forbidden to trade in the city itself, the English established themselves in the district now known as Chartrons.

 Their sumptuous buildings, facing the Garonne with warehouses at the rear, are evidence of the flourishing wine trade.

The city still bears traces of Irish influence in the wine business with no less than 4 chateaux, one wine commune, 10 streets and a public monument bearing Irish names in Bordeaux!

Pape Clément long