Château d’Yquem, ‘a golden elixir’

The renowned 400-year-old Château d’Yquem produces complex, sweet wines made from botrytized grapes in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux.

Presiding over the vineyards from the top of a hill,  the oldest parts of the castle date to the 15th century. But it was in 18th century that the wines grew famous for their complexity, longevity and concentration of flavours. Long owned by the Lur-Saluces family, it was acquired by LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton in 1999, ushering in a new chapter in its history.

Château d’Yquem is considered the leading wine of Sauternes, the region south of Bordeaux where vintners produce sweet wines.

Due to the unique micro-climate of a 20 km corridor following the Garonne river valley, the sémillon and sauvignon blanc grape varieties are vulnerable to noble rot or botrytis cinérea. The noble rot attacks the grapes, transforming the sugars and grape components into an elixir of flavours and aromas.

Legendary for ageing a century or more, the wines have been coveted by royalty, world leaders and connoisseurs for generations. There are 113 hectares of vines, which might seem like a large production. But in fact, each vine only produces one glass of wine! 

Paysage Sauternais  
chateau Yquem fenêtre  
Vigne et château yquem  

A painstaking care for the vineyards

Château d'Yquem is special not only for its history and the fame of its wines but for its painstaking care for the vineyards. The vines are harvested by hand.  Chemical weed killers are never used. At harvest time, a team of 200 pickers search the vineyard for the ripest grapes that have achieved the perfect level of botrytization. This requires them making several passes in the vineyard. Then it’s cellarmaster Sandrine Garbay’s enviable task of turning the grapes into liquid gold.

Experience the magic of Yquem

The Sauternes region offers a wonderfully natural surroundings, with tiny villages and the charming Ciron river. If you’d like to experience the magic of Yquem, reservations must be made in advance. The easiest way to contact them is via their website.

Visits are scheduled every day of the week and the tour includes a wine tasting.

Monday to Friday 9:30 am, 2 pm and 4pm.

Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am, 2pm and 4pm. 

Barrique salarié yquem  
escaliers Yquem