The Medoc wine region is home to some of the most prestigious wineries in France. Located in the Medoc peninsula, along the Gironde estuary, the vineyards of the Medoc AOC cover around 5500 hectares of the territory. With thousands of wine estates in the area, planning a day trip to Medoc can be a bit of a daunting task. In this article, my goal is to help you plan your trip to the Medoc wine region, whether you decide to do it by yourself or with a guide.
The Medoc AOC consists of 8 appelations and around 6000 wineries (most of which can’t be visited). There are several ways to get to Medoc from Bordeaux and visit the wineries of the region. You can embark on an amazing road trip, join a guided tour, or take a train to one of Medoc’s famous towns. Here are the details of how to plan the best trip to Medoc.
Medoc Road trip – Route des Châteaux
The Medoc wine region is home to one of the most beautiful wine routes in France, called Route des Chateaux, the route of castles. An endless road unveiling the breathtaking landscapes of lush vineyards and enchanting castles.
If you have a car or don’t mind renting one, I highly recommend doing the Medoc Road trip. This is the ideal way to visit the wineries of your choice and also take the time to admire the beautiful castles along the way. I have a detailed guide for those wishing to discover the Medoc region with its wineries and beach towns.
If you have only one day (or just a few hours), just follow the D2 road (starting in the town of Blanquefort) until you start seeing stunning chateaux on the way. Here are my recommendations for the best wineries to visit in Medoc.
A guided tour in Medoc
As much as I love self-guided activities, when it comes to wine, I usually prefer guided tours. Medoc is a fascinating region, with a rich history, many appelations with different wine styles, and a complex classification system. A good guide can furnish you with the information required to enhance your overall experience when visiting Médoc.
Another benefit of guided tours is that you don’t need to coordinate anything. They choose all the wineries for you and all you are left to do is taste wine and enjoy the visit.
Also, if you want to drink all the wine you’re going to get at the wineries, you better make sure that someone else is driving. A guided tour that takes you from and brings you back to the center of Bordeaux is an amazing solution for that.
Semi-Private Tours to Medoc from Bordeaux
One of the tours I highly enjoyed was the one offered by Ophorus, a reputable company in wine tourism in this region.
The full-day wine tour to Medoc includes a visit to three different wineries, all carefully chosen by their team. The tour allows you to visit wineries from different appellations in Medoc and observe the differences between the more prestigious chateaux and smaller family-owned properties. All the chateaux on the tours are either Grand Cru classé or Cru Bourgeois, so good wine is guaranteed.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and energetic, introducing us to the most important things we had to know about the region before starting our tastings. We arrived well-prepared and ready to try our Medoc wines! As it’s a small group (up to 8 people), it gives a very intimate atmosphere and you feel free to ask questions and share your experiences.
A private wine tour of the Medoc wine region
You can also treat yourself to a private tour with one of the best wine tour guides in the region, Nicolle Croft. Her tour includes a visit to three chateaux in several traditional winemaking villages of Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac, or St Estephe.
Nicolle is not only an expert in the Bordeaux wine region, she’s also very pleasant and interesting to talk to. If you have any preferences in the type of wine you like, she can easily adapt the tours around that.
You can book her Medoc tour here.
A group wine tour to Medoc
Another option is taking a group tour from the Bordeaux Tourist office that offers wine tours to Medoc every Tuesday and Saturday,
The downside of these group tours is the number of people allowed on a tour which can easily get to around 40, making the experience less intimate.
Visiting wineries in Medoc by train
Another way to visit the Medoc wine region is by train, a great option for people who want to avoid driving but also don’t like tours.
I have an article dedicated to wineries you can visit around Bordeaux by public transport, some of which are located in Medoc.
One of the easiest parts of Medoc to reach by public transport is the town of Margaux. A direct train from Gare Saint Jean (train 42) will take you to the famous wine town with several options of chateaux to visit. Check out the schedule here and purchase tickets here.
If you’re interested in other parts of the Bordeaux wine region you should check my articles about:
A detailed guide to the Bordeaux wine region
A day trip to Saint Emilion
Wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
Wineries to visit in the Sauternes wine region
Wineries in Bordeaux to visit by public transport
A weekend in Medoc
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂