Are you looking for a captivating take on the traditional wine tour? Bordeaux Uncorked is your ticket to an unforgettable journey through one of the most famous of French viticulture regions. Embark on an adventure where you can explore the beautiful valleys and sample some of the most exquisite wine that the world has to offer. Get ready to be taken on a wine odyssey through the vineyards of Bordeaux you won’t soon forget.
1. Exploring Bordeaux: Uncovering the History, Variety, and Uniqueness of French Wine
Bordeaux is often referred to as the ‘wine capital of the world’ – and with good reason. Its beautiful and varied landscape has been proudly crafting quality vino for centuries, so it’s little wonder visitors from all over flock to this scenic region to immerse themselves in its liquid history. If you’re planning a trip to explore this historic slice of France, there’s no better way to spend your days than taking a guided tour through the diverse vineyards and wineries.
From rolling gravel hills and fragrant riverbanks, to lush verdant plains and sweeping mountain passes, the region offers a kaleidoscope of landscapes to explore. As you explore the region, it’s worth stopping off to enjoy a few of the area’s well-known grape varieties, including:
- Cabernet Sauvignon: This full-bodied variety is known for its dark berry flavors, full tannins, and robust structure.
- Merlot: This smooth, fruity, and velvety blend is packed with juicy plum, raspberry, and black cherry flavors.
- Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp grape offers a light hint of elderflower and floral aromas.
- Semillon: A dry white grape boasting vibrant stone fruit, honey, and toast flavors.
If you’d like to experience the area’s full range of flavors, it’s worth booking a wine-tasting tour with an expert guide. Led by a specialist sommelier, these tours often include visits to some of the area’s most acclaimed wineries and vineyards, as well as insightful tasting sessions and the chance to explore the enchanting chateaux which guard these historic vineyards.
When the tour has come to an end, why not stay on and savor the most of the experience with a delicious dinner, complete with an array of exquisite regional delicacies? With cuisine that is every bit as spectacular as the wines that accompany them, it’s impossible not to immerse yourself in the unique character of this one-of-a-kind region.
Let your senses take over and embark on a Wine Odyssey through France’s famed vineyards – you won’t be disappointed!
2. Tour Bordeaux’s Most Spectacular Vineyards and Castles
Château de Beychevelle: Gaze into the lush green of grapevines as you tour the 17th-century Château de Beychevelle, just forty minutes from Bordeaux. This grand estate offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to savor some of the finest wines in France. Sample its rare and vinified in new oak barrels ”Grand Vin de Beychevelle”, an exquisite red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.
Château Carbonnieux: With vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see, Chateau Carbonnieux offers a glimpse into Bordeaux’s fascinating winemaking history. Tour its cellars and vineyards, and sample its robust red, white, and rose wines. Be sure to taste the ”Chateau Carbonnieux” Grand Cru Classe vintage, a perfect pairing for a meal of steak and mushrooms.
Château Cantenac Brown: Handpicked grapes from this 130-acre vineyard have been delightful wine aficionados since 1824. Travel deep into the heart of Margaux and tour the vineyards and cellars of Château Cantenac Brown. Refined reds and rosés crafted from grapes such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are sure to tantalize your palate. Sample the fine ”Grand Vin de Cantenac Brown”, and take a bottle home for a truly memorable experience.
La Vigneronne: On the banks of the Dordogne river is the magical La Vigneronne wine estate. Founded in 1790, this spectacular château is surrounded by lush vineyards and fields of vibrant wildflowers. Enjoy a tour of the vineyards, and sample the estate’s decadent wines including Bordeaux’s famous ”Côte de Bordeaux”. Relax in the estate’s gardens and take in the stunning views over the river.
3. Uncover the Flavors and Strains of French Wine
Ready to explore the myriad nuances of French wine? You’ll want to start in Bordeaux: the entire country has laid claim to this famed region as a giant among viticultural neighbors. Topping more than 10,000 hectares of vineyards, the region boasts an array of terroirs that make imminent sense of why some of the world’s most profound wines stem from this part of the world.
At the heart of this châteaux terrain is the prestigious appellation of Medoc, characterized by its tree-shaped lowlands and plump hills. Fruit-forward Malbecs reign here, along with a few of the region’s other traditional cultivars like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. But it’s the sweeter Sémillons and Sauvignon Blancs — blended or selected for single varietal expressions — that have made a name for this part of the world.
Below, discover what awaits your viticultural quest through this French wine Odyssey:
- The Muscadet Coast: Where Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Plant and Melon de Bourgogne Create Refreshingly Crisp Juices
- Loire Valley: Visit This Garden of Eden for Reisling and Chenin Blanc
- Alsace: Experience the Unique Flavors of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer
- Southern Rhone: Unearth the Exotic Bouquets of Rich Grenache, Syrah & Mourvèdre
- Provence: Delight in Aromatic Grands from Grenache, Syrah & Cinsault
The story of each of these French wine havens for is both rich and colorful, with a surprising variety of styles and flavors. Whether you choose to explore them all or just take a sip of the well-known varietals of the regions, you’ll be sure to uncover the uniqueness and personality of each of these mystical vineyards that brought the French culture its notable name.
4. Sample Award-Winning French Wines in Bordeaux
Chateau Margaux – This 1855 Grand Cru Classè wine is perfect for any special occasion. While always a bit more expensive than other Grand Crus, it boasts a powerful nose of black and red fruits balanced by subtle spices, hints of vanilla, and chocolate. The Chateau Margaux is best enjoyed with food, due to its complex mix of aromas and flavors.
Chateau Angelus – This elegant Grand Cru Classé offers a complex blend of tannins, black cherry, cassis, and floral aromas. A balanced acidity keeps this bottling from becoming too full-bodied while allowing mellow notes of hazelnut and dried herbs to come through. Enjoy a bottle of this award-winning Bordeaux classic with char-grilled lamb or steak.
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild – This revered wine is forever associated with prestige and luxury. Its classic notes of blueberry, French vanilla, and tobacco nestle amongst commanding but gentle tannins. The delicate structure and balanced acidity of this classic Grand Cru Classé make it a timeless favorite that should be savored with filet mignon or beef tenderloin.
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande – This prestigious Second Grand Cru celebrity cuvée has been a sensation around the world since its debut in 1834, when it won multiple awards in Paris. Its exquisite bouquet of dark cherries, cedar wood, and roasted coffee beans pairs perfectly with game such as wild boar or elk.
Chateau Latour – This monstrously powerful, tannin-rich Grand Cru Classé is sure to make an impression on any palate. Strong flavors of cassis, blueberry, and violet float on a bed of structured tannins and notes of dark chocolate and spice, with the sweetness of oak coming through towards the end. Worth the splurge, enjoy a bottle of Chateau Latour with your next dish of roasted venison.
5. Discover the Gauge of a Quality Wine Through Tasting
You’ve always wanted to explore the UNSECO Heritage vineyards of France’s renowned Bordeaux winemaking country. Now you can! Discover the vast selection of wines this region has to offer. From dry white to robust reds, explore the breadth of flavour and texture that this beautiful corner of the world can create. Make the most of your oenophilic journey by getting up close with the winemaking process — gain an intimate understanding of the regions, their climates and various grape varieties.
Tasting – essential to appreciating Bordeaux wines, take advantage of the opportunity to taste the wines that have made the region one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world. Engage with the flavor profiles presented by the vast variety of terroirs the wine growing regions in France have to offer. Gauge the quality of each wine using an approved system of tasting methodology.
- Take note of the appearance, aroma and taste of the wine
- Consider the key characteristics that make-up a good wine
- Analyze appearance, nose and mouthfeel in order to determine the quality
- Compare against other wines tasted on the odyssey to understand the differences
Take a journey of wine discovery with the experts. Taste the various labels of Bordeaux and understand the ways in which the region’s incredible variety comes alive in every sip. Discuss and debate the styles and trends of the winemakers with your fellow connoisseurs.
During your wine odyseey, you’ll experience tastings from a variety of iconic appellations, including Pauillac, Medoc, Pessac-Leognan, Graves, and Saint-Emilion – some of Europe’s most celebrated wine growing regions. Interact with the passionate vignerons themselves to hear their personal stories.
6. Learn About French Wine Making and Appreciation
- Take a guided tour: Get ready for an epic excursion as you journey through centuries-old wineries, complete with the priceless knowledge of your personal guide. Meet the passionate winemakers, savor classic blends and sample award-winning bottles. And of course, a hearty dinner paired with Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Pomerol wines to end the evening!
- The history lesson: No visit to a French vineyard would be complete without delving into the enchantingly rich history of the country’s winemaking industry. Get down to basics and learn how to make the perfect wine blend, and study important differences in fermentation, aging and bottling.
- Unique surprises signify the journey: What better way to explore than through unique opportunities? Glimpse behind the scenes at a traditional production facility, then head to a state of the art cool room for an exploration of modern techniques. Don’t forget to sample a few unique finds of old, tucked away bottles that have been aging for years!
- Put some fun into your education: Discover delightful secrets of the region with must-do activities. Learn how to distinguish Bordeaux blends from Burgundy, take part in a grand wine tasting event, and discover how champagne differs from other sparkling wines. Plus, delve into the art of food and wine pairing.
- A wine lover’s dream: France is the world’s biggest wine producing country with a wide variety of regions, styles, colors, and qualities. Learn all about the various terroirs, and discover how the unique environment affects the taste of each wine. Get a great insight into the different ways that wine making is done in France – traditional techniques, modern technology, or a combination of the two.
7. From Noob to Sommelier: Find Out How to Identify a Good Wine
Take an epic and informative journey through some of the oldest and finest vineyards in the world. Bordeaux is one of France’s most famous regions, renowned for its wines, its history, and its gastronomy. Explore the region and its vineyards by learning how to identify a good wine. With a variety of styles and terroirs, Bordeaux is a perfect place to start for those seeking a deeper understanding of wine.
Uncork your exploration with a visit to the Médoc. Here, you’ll find some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines, revered around the world for their longevity and full-bodied characteristics. Spend a few days tasting around the villages of Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, and Saint-Estephe – home to many of the most iconic chateaux in the world.
Next, move onto St-Émilion, a region known for its opulent Merlot-driven wines. Home to some of the oldest vines in France, the complex and intense wines of St-Émilion are as enchanting as its picturesque hilltop village. For a look at the newly opened terroirs of Bordeaux, head southwest to Fronsac, Canon-Fronsac, and Castillon – some of the newest appellations in the region. Finally, close out your exploration with a visit to the Libourne region, home of the famous Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol appellations.
By visiting, tasting and exploring, you’ll get the chance to learn about the different climates and terroirs, and how they shape the resulting wines. Learn to identify the components of each wine, and understand what makes them unique. Learn about the winemakers and their winemaking techniques, hone your sensory ability to detect complexities in a vintage, and learn about the various aging processes used throughout the appellations. As a result of your journey, you’ll be able to identify a good wine and recognize it during your next tasting session!
- Médoc – Home to some of the oldest and finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
- St-Émilion – An opulent Merlot-driven region, home to some of the oldest vines in the region.
- Fronsac, Canon-Fronsac and Castillon – Newly opened terroirs in the region.
- Libourne – Home to the famous Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol appellations.
8. Embark on a Unique Wine Odyssey Through France’s Celebrated Vineyards
Take a tour of some of the most celebrated vineyards in France. From the red wines of Bordeaux to the sparkling wines of Champagne, this wine odyssey will take you through some of the most famous French winemaking regions. Along the way, you’ll sample some of the best wines in the world, explore charming wineries and quaint villages, and learn about the centuries-old methods for producing top-quality French wines.
The first stop on your odyssey is Bordeaux. The most prestigious wine region in France is known for producing exquisite reds and dessert wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes. You’ll have the chance to visit renowned wineries and sample some of the finest wines available.
- Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is often called the “garden of France” due to its spectacular natural beauty. Here, you’ll find some of the finest white wines in the world, made primarily from Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc grapes. Make sure to visit Sancerre and Vouvray for some of the best wines in the region.
No wine odyssey is complete without a visit to the region of Champagne. Here you’ll sample some of the world’s best sparkling wines, produced using traditional methods. Take a tour of the underground caves and discover just what makes these wines so special.
- Rhône Valley
The Rhône Valley is home to some of the world’s most renowned white and red wines. Here you’ll find some of the countries’ finest Syrah and Grenache wines, as well as some complex and delightful white wines made from Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne.
Alsace is home to some of France’s most unique wines. Here you will find mostly white wines made from Riesling and Gewürztraminer grapes, with some lovely rosé wines as well. Make sure to visit some of the charming wineries in the region and try their mouth-watering wines.
Embark on this unique wine odyssey and you’ll experience some of the best wines France has to offer. With its breathtaking scenery and world-renowned vineyards, this is an adventure you won’t soon forget.
Bon Voyage! With its vibrant past, incredible people, and unique wines, Bordeaux is the perfect destination for your next wine odyssey. Whether you’re a veteran of the vineyards or just beginning to explore France’s world-renowned wineries, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. So, don your finest béret and pour yourself a glass of the divine – it’s time to get Bordeaux Uncorked. Santé!