Another look at Bordeaux: rethinking the Wine Tour

The vineyards might date back to Roman times, the chateaux may be several hundred years old and some of the wine cellars reverently store vintages dating back generations - but here in Bordeaux there’s a new wave of wine tours that bring the tasting experience bang up to date. These 21st century tours take a different look at wine, with a range of experiences available, from the fun to the downright quirky. The only thing that remains the same is the quality of the wines and the passion of the people that create them. Here’s a small selection of what’s on offer.

Awaken your senses at chateau de Reignac

Weather permitting, the unique sensory tour at the chateau is an amusing and unforgettable experience, changing perceptions of taste and aroma.

The tour starts in the scent garden, planted with a selection of plants chosen for their perfume, their taste or simply how they look - and all associated with the colours and flavours to be found in wine, both red and white.  Using your olfactory memory (cheers, Proust)! the tour is designed to awaken the senses, enabling you to remember and reuse remembered tastes and odeurs when tasting the wines. The tour also features a tour of the cellars and the greenhouse - designed by Gustave Eiffel himself, - and finishes up in the XV1 pigeonhouse, now a tasting tower where you can exercise your newfound skills in a wine tasting.

The tours are available on reservation only and depends on the weather. The award winning scent garden is open from June until September.

Reignac plantes  
Reignac - Sophia  
Reignac - dégustation  

Try an elevated wine tasting at chateau Rayne Vigneau

Sauternes is famous worldwide for its sought after dessert wines, generally tasted in a wine cellar or drunk as an aperitif on the terrace or at table. Here at Chateau Rayne Vigneau, they’ve elevated wine tasting to a new level, literally - to the top of a 200 year old Cedar tree! You earn your wine by climbing a rope up to a waiting platform (under the expert eye of an instructor). Here, safely harnessed to your chair and swinging gently in the breeze, take in the magnificent views whilst sipping chilled Sauternes.

Unmissable!

Château Rayne Vigneau  
Rayne Vigneau au fil du Ciron  

Discover the vineyards in a golf caddy at chateau Pontet Canet

Whilst less quirky than some of the other tours, Pontet-Canet earns its place on the list by incorporating a pre-degustation whizz around the vineyards in a golf caddy, much to the delight of young and old. The buggy trip rounds off a highly instructive visit on the intricacies of biodynamic wine making, which takes in the lunar calendar, the use of vats and the odd good luck Donkey!

The chateau is serious about its ethos and visitors can see the conversion in motion, away from modern machinery towards the incorporation of ancient practices into modern, environmentally-conscious winemaking. 

pontet-canet cheval  
pontet canet golfette  

Chateau d'Agassac and its Vin-Teractif tour

Whilst the children are engrossed in freeing a princess, held captive for centuries in one of the chateau’s ancient turrets, the adults can play the more serious game of getting to know the chateau and its wines - equipped with a trusty iPad as a guide. The Vin-Teractif tour leads you through the domain, discovering its history, the vineyards and the wines - with a tasting to follow, of course, with grape juice for the children.  

The chateau also offers visits around a theme, which range from classic vertical wine tastings to the very popular ‘Chocolate is King’ - the delightful and innovative pairing of three Grand Cru chocolates from the renowned Bordelais chocolate maker Maison Saunion with three vintages of Chateau d’Agassac.

Heaven!

Château d'Agassac de côté  
Agassac Vin teractif