There are a thousand châteaux in the Bordeaux wine region which makes it almost impossible to choose just a few when you visit this region. However, if your timing is right, you might be visiting during one of the open doors weekends taking place at the wineries of Bordeaux throughout the year. There are around 60 different appellations in the Bordeaux wine region with many of them hosting “Portes Ouvertes” (open doors) weekends at least once a year. These events are usually hosted by the wineries of each appellation and include free tastings, tours, and activities for kids. In this article, I will be listing all the open doors weekends in the wineries in chronological order. Don’t worry If you’re visiting outside of these specific dates, many of these châteaux offer tours and tastings (by appointment). In the article, I will also recommend my favorite wineries to visit in each appellation of Bordeaux wine. The list is long so let’s go!
The Blaye Spring Wine Festival
The Blaye Spring Wine Festival is usually the first event to start the wine festivals season in the Bordeaux region. The event takes place at the Blaye citadel at the beginning of April, bringing together more than 80 winemakers from the Blaye appellation. The program includes discovery workshops (introduction to tasting, mixing, and food and wine pairing), guided visits to the citadel, and more. For the full program and tickets click here.
Open doors in the Médoc wine region
The first open doors event of the year is always the Portes Ouvertes weekend in Medoc, taking place in April. During the festive weekend, you can visit plenty of châteaux in the Medoc region and taste some of the finest wines in the world. I usually update about the event and the wineries you can visit in this article. This year the event takes place on April 8-10.
If you wish to make this trip an unforgettable experience, you should go on the Medoc wine road trip that includes all the wonders this area of Gironde has to offer. I personally did the Medoc wine route a few years ago and wrote a very detailed article about it, read it here.
Recommended wineries in Medoc you can visit all year long
Château du Taillan (book a visit here), which is owned by 5 sisters, is one of the closest wineries to Bordeaux. Château d’Arsac, is one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens (book a visit here). Closer to Margaux you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here), Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here), or the beautiful Chateau Marquis de Terme (book a visit here).
Open doors at Lalande de Pomerol
Another Open doors weekend in April is taking place at the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. A neighbor to the highly prestigious wines of Pomerol and Saint Emilion, this appellation produces some great wines you’d really enjoy discovering. Some of the Lalande de Pomerol properties are owned by famous wine families, such as La Fleur de Boüard, which is owned by Hubert de Boüard of Château Angélus. If you want to learn more about the Lalande de Pomerol appellation and its châteaux, click here. This year the event takes place on April 23-24.
Recommended wineries in Lalande de Pomerol you can visit all year long
Château Siaurac is one of the best wineries to visit in that part of Bordeaux’s wine region (check out their website). A bit less famous but also a great estate to visit is Château Tournefeuille (Book your visit here).
Open doors in Saint-Emilion
Saint Emilion, the most famous wine appellation in Bordeaux, celebrates its open doors weekend at the beginning of May. The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and bike rides. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities, and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here. You can also plan your trip to this wine region with my detailed guide to Saint Emilion. This year’s open doors weekend takes place on April 30-May 1.
Recommended wineries in Saint Emilion you can visit all year long
I tend to visit the Saint Emilion region quite often so I have many recommendations for wineries to visit there. I put some of them in my article about the best chateaux to visit in Saint Emilion.
Grand Crus Weekend
One of the most anticipated events in Bordeaux’s wine world is the Grand Crus Weekend that is usually taking place in June. This event, organized by the Union des Grands Crus (the regional wine classification), aims to create an international meeting of wine lovers. The highlight of this weekend is the major wine tasting event with more than 100 Grand Crus where you get to meet different chateaux owners. Read more about the event and the full program here. This year the event will take place on June 17-19.
If you want to visit some of the Grand Cru châteaux in Bordeaux, here are a few recommended ones:
Open doors in the Côtes de Bourg appellation
Ô Chais is the annual open doors event taking place at the Côtes de Bourg appellation situated on the west end of the Dordogne river before it flows to the Gironde estuary. It’s less known than the renowned Saint Emilion or Medoc appellations but it’s an excellent wine you should try when visiting the Bordeaux wine region. This year the event is taking place on May 7-8. See more details here.
Recommended wineries in Bourg you can visit all year long
One of my favorite châteaux in Bourg is Château le Clos de Notaire with its amazing view (see their website).
Bordeaux Wine Festival
Bordeaux Fête le Vin is the biggest wine event in Bordeaux! Once in two years in June, the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux are taken over by wine enthusiasts celebrating the Bordeaux wine festival. Apart from wine tastings, you should expect plenty of music, good food, and activities for kids. See more details here. This year the event takes place on June 23-26.
Sauternes Fête le vin
Sauternes is a prestigious wine area famous for its sweet white wines. This is the only wine appellation in Bordeaux that hosts two open-door events every year. The summer event is the Sauternes wine festival, which this year will take place on June 18. For more details click here.
Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long
Château Guiraud is one of the most beautiful estates in Sauternes and often hosts interesting events (book you visit here). Also don’t miss the magnificent Château Lafaurie-Peyrague and its Michelin restaurant (book your visit here). Another fun option is the Château d’Arche (Book you visit here).
Open doors at the châteaux of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux
Another smaller and less known appellation in Bordeaux wine is Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. This appellation has a very active Maison du Vin which organizes an annual open doors event every June, with close to 50 participating chateaux. This year the event will take place on June 4-5. See the list of participating Chateaux.
When there, don’t miss the beautiful Château de Cadillac, one of the most important historic monuments in Gironde. Check out other beautiful towns you can visit in that part of Gironde in my article about the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux.
Portes Ouvertes de l’Appellation Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation hosts its annual open doors event in early September and it’s usually a great event to start the Autumn with. Contrary to other appellations where you get to visit different châteaux, this one is a rather small appellation and the event usually takes place at the beautiful Château de Pitray, with many stands of smaller producers. See more info here.
Les châteaux de l’appellation Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
Another hidden gem in Bordeaux wine is Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, located near the Blaye citadel in the north of Gironde. I already mentioned this wine appellation in the first event of the year, however, in September, there’s a real Open doors weekend where you get to visit the winemakers in their châteaux. Many of them are family-owned wineries and the visit there feels very cozy. The information about their next event will be published here.
Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves
Graves is another famous sub-region of Bordeaux wine, located on the left bank of the Garonne river. It’s a huge appellation that includes within itself a few other appellations like Pessac Leognan, which often participate in the Open doors weekend as well. The event usually takes place in October with more than 70 participating chateaux. See more info here.
If you want to visit Graves at any other time, one of the most interesting wineries to visit in that appellation is Chateau de Portets (book your tour here).
Portes ouvertes in Fronsac
Another great wine to try in Bordeaux is Fronsac & Canon Fronsac and their Portes Ouvertes is a good opportunity to do just that. The event usually takes place at the end of October with more than 30 chateaux hosting people for free tastings, guided tours, and more. One of the main events is taking place at the magnificent Château de la Rivière. The info about the next event will be published here.
Recommended wineries in Fronsac you can visit all year long
Château de la Rivière is probably one of the most interesting wineries to visit in the region (Book your tour here) however there are other great places to visit such as Chateau de la Dauphine with its impressive vat room (book your visit here) and Chateau George 7 with their fun summer terrace (see all the info here).
Open doors in the Chateaux of Sauternes et Barsac
The second event of Sauternes et Barsac wine appellations takes place in November. This wine area is famous for its sweet white wines and some of the chateaux look like historic monuments and are worth a visit. You can find the full program here closer to the event.
Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long
Château Guiraud is one of the most beautiful estates in Sauternes and often hosts interesting events (book your visit here). Also, don’t miss the magnificent Château Lafaurie-Peyrague and its Michelin restaurant (book your visit here). Another fun option is the Château d’Arche (Book you visit here). Another amazing vineyard to visit in Barsac is Chateau de Myrat (book your visit here).
Portes Ouvertes in Pomerol
Pomerol is probably the most prestigious wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, however, for some reason, its Open doors weekend is not as well known as the other ones. The event usually takes place at the end of October and it’s a rather straightforward one. Most of their chateaux don’t offer tours or special activities during the event because they really only want you to taste their wine. But it’s Pomerol, so amazing wine is guaranteed! The list of the participating chateaux is usually published here.
Recommended wineries in Pomerol you can visit all year long
Château Beauregard has one of the most impressive Vat rooms I have ever seen and is one of the best places to visit in Pomerol (see info about visits here). Château de Sales is another magnificent chateau to visit, and they offer many different activities on and around their property (book a visit here)
les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras
les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras is a great opportunity to get familiar with the sweet wines of Loupaic, meet the farmers of the department, and taste their gourmet production. The event always takes place on the last weekend of November. See the list of participants here.
Open Doors in the Châteaux of Pessac-Léognan
The Pessac-Léognan appellation is usually the one closing the year with its Open doors weekend in December. This event includes tens of wineries that offer wine tastings, tours, gourmet food, and activities for kids. All the information about the event is published on this website. Pessac is a beautiful little town near Bordeaux so if you want to spend the day there, check out my article about it.
Recommended wineries in Pessac and Leognan you can visit all year long
Château Larrivet Haut Brion (Book your visit here), Château Pape Clement (Book your visit here), and Château Latour Martillac (Book your visit here), as well as the renowned Château les Carmes Haut-Brion (info about visits here).
I gave you a lot of information to process hoping it will help you choose the best time to come to Bordeaux. If you’re interested in more events taking place in Bordeaux, don’t forget to check out my monthly lists and also subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things to do in Bordeaux and the region every weekend.
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