Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes

A Journey into the Origins of the Wines of Bordeaux on the Graves and Sauternes Bordeaux Wine Trails. It was, indeed, in the Graves appellation that the first ever Bordeaux vines were planted over 2000 years ago.

The territory is remarkable for its diversity; there are the prestigious Château d’Yquem and Haut-Brion, but also family-run estates, castles for families to enjoy, excellent Michelin-starred or lesser-known restaurants. Hospitality is at the heart of the Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes.

Today, Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes has 6 great appellations: Graves et Graves Supérieures, Pessac-Léognan, Barsac, Sauternes et Cérons. The name of this wine route comes from the region’s gravelly, pebbly soil which is perfect for grape growing.

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Wine tasting course with your children
Bicycle tour and wine tasting
Initiation with Bordeaux wine tasting

Graves and Sauternes, a red, white and gold wine route

Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes is known for its microclimate which is perfect for grape growing. The red wines are made from Merlot, Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes which gives the classic, ruby red colour to the wines. The dry white wines are made from Semillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle grapes. To the south of Graves, Sauternes is located on a gently rolling terrain, with the Citron stream running through it. The combination of the morning mists from the stream and the autumn sun contribute to the appearance of the ‘noble rot’ used to make the world renowned sweet white wines.

Verre vin blanc  

The must-see on Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes

Another unmissable on Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes is the Sources de Caudalie at Martillac. With a Michelin starred restaurant, the Vinothérapie Spa and a 5* Palace, this is the place to come for a memorable meal, an afternoon being cossetted or a night of luxury.

The region is also the birthplace of Lillet, the local aperitif made famous in the Bond films. The Maison Lillet is worth a visit - founded in 1872 in the village of Podensac. They offer guided tours and tastings.

There are organised trips to the neighbouring Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, might include a visit to the tonnellerie (barrel making) or a tour of the contemporary art collection or the interactive visit ‘In the footsteps of the winemaker”, tracing the day with one of the specialists at the Chateau.

Chateau de Cazeneuve is also worth a visit. Home to King Henry 1V and Queen Margot, their sumptuous apartments are open to visitors as are the medieval cellars and troglodyte caves. 

Amongst the wealth of chateaux open to visitors are Chateau La Brede, the birthplace of Montesquieu, and Chateaux de Malle and Mongenan which feature listed gardens. 

The UNESCO classed gothic cathedral of St-Jean-Baptiste which is inscribed on the pilgrim’s route to Compostelle can be found at Bazas, birthplace of the French poet Ausone.


From illustrious grand cru classé, such as Chateau Haut-Bailly to tiny family run properties, there’s a huge choice in the region. 

Paysage Graves et sauternes  

Chateau Haut-Bailly is open year round to visitors (booking essential). They offer classic and insider visits. It’s also possible to book a private table for lunch or dinner at the chateau, with a pairing of fine wines and seasonal cuisine.

The stunning Chateau Filhot produces AOC Sauternes wines. Owned by the Comte Henri de Vaucelles and situated on the southern slopes of Sauternes the chateau is known for its fine wines and exquisite ‘English Gardens’ which date back to the 19C.

The dynamic young team at Chateau Caillivet are keen to share their passion for winemaking. They are one of the few Bordeaux chateaux (if not the only) with their own herd of Bazas cattle.


The Auberge les Vignes, situated in the heart of Sauternes itself has it on the menu, cooked over vine cuttings - of course. There’s an excellent wine list with Chateau Yquem by the glass.

At the Michelin starred restaurant Claude Darroze in Langon, you can try some of the region’s seasonal specialities, such as Lamprey eel and the fresh water fish Alose a sought after regional delicacy.

And when you’ve finished your meal, don’t forget to have a look at what the region has to offer on and off the water ro work off those calories. Hiking, golf, cycling……..