bordeaux wine


Temperate weather, ocean views, a city packed with culture, and gorgeous architecture are just a few of the attractions of Bordeaux. But once you’ve really tapped into Bordeaux wineries? You might never leave. 

With so many delicious wines to sample in the Bordeaux wine region, how should you choose? The answer to that question will depend on the kind of wine you like, how you want to feel drinking it and what should be the setting.

In this article, I’m about the introduce you to all the Bordeaux wine regions. You will learn about the grapes used in every region and what type of wine they produced. And finally, I’ll provide detailed information about how to visit wineries in the Bordeaux region.

For every region, I also added a few recommendations of wineries to visit.  So by the end of this article, you should have a rough idea of where to go while visiting the Bordeaux wine region.

Bordeaux wine region map
By Domenico-de-ga, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1599323

Bordeaux wine region- what you need to know

There are a stunning 7,000 wineries in Bordeaux and 57 appellations in the Bordeaux wine region. The appellations range from the world-famous Medoc appellation to the lesser-known but lovely Entre-Deux-Mers. Unbeknownst to many, the Bordeaux wine region produces delicious whites on top of its famous reds. Altogether, Bordeaux wineries produce 2.5 billion dollars worth of wine per year from 900 million bottles!

Over 86% of wines in the Bordeaux wine region are reds made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes.

Wine harvest in Medoc - one of Bordeaux wine regions
Harvest in Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux wine region is arguably the most famous wine region on Earth. The unique nutrient-dense soil has filtered down over centuries from the Pyrenees mountains, through the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, into the ocean, forming the Bordeaux wine region.

You may also find that the people from this region of France are more down-to-Earth and welcoming than their Northern neighbors. This makes touring Bordeaux wineries a warm and pleasant experience.

For a closer look at the appellations, let’s pull out the Bordeaux wine map

South of the Gironde estuary, we have the Left Bank, which includes eight Medoc appellations (including Margaux, Haut-Médoc, Pauillac, etc.), Graves (including Pessac- Leognan), and Sauternes and Barsac.

To the north of the estuary is the Right Bank, which includes the Blaye, Côtes-de-Bourg, Fronsac, Pomerol, and Saint Émilion appellations. 

Finally, the Entre-Deux-Mers sub-region is between the two banks. That’s the biggest wine sub-region of Bordeaux and where most of the white wines are produced.

The amount of wineries here is overwhelming and it’s really to decide what region you should go to. 

However, here’s a tip from me! Check your visit falls on one of the portes ouvertes events in the region. These are open-door events organized by the different appellations where you have the opportunity to visit several wineries at once. The open-door events are free and open to all. Check out my article about the open days in the chateaux of Bordeaux, to see all the upcoming events.

Château Beauregard - Pomerol- portes ouvertes
Château Beauregard – Pomerol

The 5 Bordeaux wine sub-regions you need to know

Saint Emilion – the Most Famous Bordeaux Wine Region

Saint-Emilion is famous for the hillside architecture that makes it a UNESCO World Heritage site. But don’t let your eyes distract your taste buds. This region’s wines are made from deep Merlot and Cabernet Franc, making the wine soft, and tannin-light. It is home to around 800 wineries.

Saint-Emilion is a land, or terroir (break that out for your tour guide for brownie points), of contradictions. Its people and its wine are warm and approachable, but absolutely elite. The Saint Emilion appellation and its four satellite appellations ( Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion, and Saint-Georges-Saint-Émilion.) are home to generational wineries. Think old-school families that bought the land years ago and saw the value skyrocket since. But also think of centuries of passed-down knowledge.

The strict guidelines that Saint-Emilion wines must follow are even presided over by the Jurade – a group of people that “bear witness to the traditions of the past.”

Pomerol is another rich red found in the Saint Emilion region. It is fruity, dark, and very drinkable. 

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion - Chateau de Pressac
Chateau Pressac in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Consider visiting Chateau Pressac for beautiful views and rich family history, Chateau Bernateau for a family-run visit and open grounds, and Chateau Coutet for a 400-year-old winery and scenic view. More information on each can be found in my guide to the wineries of Saint Emilion here.

Before going be sure to check out my articles about Saint Emilion:

A detailed guide to Saint Emilion
How to get to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux
The best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
Where to stay in Saint Emilion

Medoc –  the most prestigious wine region

Instead of a heavy reliance on Merlot like Saint-Emilion, the 584 Medoc wineries grow a more diverse mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes. The Medoc is located on the peninsula between the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Over many years, the estuary carried mineral-rich water from the Pyrenees, through the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, to form the peninsula. As a result, the soil is resistant to moisture, and is ideal for slow-ripening grapes, resulting in some of the most expensive wines in the world. With good reason – they’re delicious.

Besides being prestigious, Medoc is a leader in innovation for winegrowers across the world. Medoc winemakers were the first to exclude rotten grapes from the vinification process and to age wine in oak barrels, for two of many examples.

Some of the comforting flavors of Medoc wines are red and blackberries, dark cherry, hints of vanilla, and roasted coffee with aging. A perfect wine to relax at home with once you leave the beautiful vineyards of the Medoc. You can imagine that you’re back to bright green vineyards overlooking the water as far as the eye can see!

Chateau loudenne on the Medoc wine route
The pink house – Château Loudenne by Lost in Bordeaux

Some suggestions of wineries to visit in the region are Chateau Loudenne (a chateau with a private port),  Château Beychevellel, or Château Lamothe Bergeron. You can find out about visiting these chateaux in my article on visiting the Medoc region.

The best way to explore the Medoc is to rent a car but you can also visit many chateaux in Medoc by public transport. Read my article to discover all the wineries reachable by train from Bordeaux.

Graves and Pessac Leognan – The Oldest Wine Region in Bordeaux

The most unique feature of this region is its pine forests. The trees protect the vines from the humidity and wind native to the Bordeaux wine region. It is the only region that makes a significant amount of both red and white wines. If you love the outdoors, this is the region for you, with the beautiful vineyards and pines all around.

The red wines created by Pessac’s 29 wineries have a breadth of flavor that is unique to the region: from smoky and cassis-filled wines to light, drinkable wines. The reds are made from Cabernet Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The whites are made from Sauvignon Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle.

The dry white wines produced here are crisp and citrus, green apples, and honey. Just the smell transports me to one of the oyster shacks in the Bassin d’Arcachon. Bordelais people flock to these incredibly cheap and high-quality oyster providers every spring, summer, and fall (whenever they can) to gorge themselves on oysters, shrimp, and glasses of Pessac. If you’re interested in combining these two great pleasures of the region – its wine and oysters – see my article on the Bay of Arcachon.

Some winery suggestions in Pessac Leognan are:

Château Pape Clément in Pessac

Château Pape Clément is a Grand Cru Classé wine labeled under the Pessac Leognan appellation. The château offers daily visits in both French and English as well as winemaking workshops where you can assemble your own wine. 

You can book the tour online – just click here. It’s also one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in Bordeaux

Château Larrivet Haut Brion

A beautiful estate with stunning gardens and a very artistic Vat room. The winery is located around 20 minutes’ drive from Bordeaux. Book your visit here

Château Larrivet Haut Brion - Pessac Leognan with kids
Château Larrivet Haut Brion

The best way is to rent a car but you can also visit many chateaux in Pessac Leognan by public transport. Find more details in my article on car-free winery visiting.

Sauternes and Barsac -discover the white sweet wine of Bordeaux

To take a break from dry white wines and dive into sweet ones, Sauternes is your go-to. The subregion benefits from noble rot – the shrooms that form on the vines from the morning mist from the humidity of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. This gives the grapes a great variety of concentration, acidity, and complexity. The assemblages produced here include Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, and Muscadelle grapes.

As a fan of the occasional glass of sweet wine, I find the rich, amber color and the sweet flavors of peach and even “brioche” are the perfect end to a weekend spent among friends and family. A sweet – but not too sweet! – end to time spent enjoying myself before starting the working week.

Château d'Arche in Sauternes - wineries in Bordeaux
by Lost in Bordeaux

My favorite wineries in this region include Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey if you’re feeling fancy, Chateau d’Arche for 17th-century views, and Chateau Guiraud, which has made it into the big leagues: Grand Cru Classé. There are only 27 wineries in this region. You can find more details on these vineyards in my guide to Sauternes here.

How to Get There

You have to have a car to visit this region. Otherwise, take a train to Langon and a taxi from there.

Blaye and Bourg

This region is actually two regions, named – you guessed it – Blaye and Bourg. It produces dry white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes and drinkable red wines from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The region contains another UNESCO world heritage site in Bordeaux – the Vauban Citadel. 

Both are two of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux

What is unique about the region is the ability to see it from the boat, on the river. It is a quieter experience than some of the other subregions and has its own wonders. These include white stone buildings, valleys of green vineyards, water views, and roman churches. Imagine yourself as the hero or heroine in a movie about “remote” romantic wine regions in France. 

Wineries to Visit in Blaye and Bourg

In Blaye, think of visiting the Chateau Monconseil Gazin. In Bourg, consider the Château le Clos de Notaire with its amazing view (see their website).

Château le Clos de Notaire - Bourg one of Bordeaux's wine regions
Château le Clos de Notaire – by Lost in Bordeaux

Entre Deux Mers – the white wine of Bordeaux

Entre-deux-Mers is located between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and is bordered by the estuary formed by the two rivers in the North. Its soil is made of gravel and limestone. It classically produces dry white wines that are wonderful for a lunch on the terrace. 

 However, in the 20th century, winery owners in the region saw the writing on the wall and many replaced their white grape plants with red. 

Only the white wines from the region can be labeled under the Entre deux Mers appellation. The red varieties produced in this region can only be called Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superior. Although wine experts claim that the wine in this region pales in comparison to that of the other wine regions, Bordeaux Superior is pretty good. It is soft, but not light, and makes me think of charcuterie boards shared with a loved one in a cramped Parisian apartment, vespa rides, and discovering France.

In the Entre Deux Mers region, you can also find excellent sweet wines like Sainte-Croix-du-Mont and Loupiac.

The view from the beautiful Chateau Malrome in Entre Deux Mers
The view from Chateau Mallrome in the Entre deux Mers region – by Lost in Bordeaux

Entre Deux Mers is home to Chateau Biac, home to the Asseily family. Youmna, the matriarch, is well-known for her mastery of wine and French food and for her amazing hospitality. A visit to Chateau Biac feels like a visit between friends. Youmna is a perfect example of the warmth of the vineyard owners in this region. 

Another great estate to visit is Chateau Lestrille, which produces red, white, and rose wines.

How to Visit Wineries in Bordeaux

There are many ways to visit wineries in the Bordeaux wine region. You can take a group tour, or a private guide, or do it on your own by train, car, or even biking. 

Let’s break down the options. 

Taking a tour guide in Bordeaux

Going on a group/ private tour will most probably leave you with better knowledge about the wines of Bordeaux. It also takes off the stress of organizing the visit and you can drink a lot of wine without worrying about driving back to Bordeaux. 

The downside of it is usually the price. Taking a guide can be pretty expensive. 

If you’re looking for a wine tour from Bordeaux, here are a few good options:

Saint-Émilion Food and Wine Tour – day trip to Saint Emilion that includes a visit to three different chateaux and a fun picnic. Book it here

Afternoon Wine Tasting in the Medoc RegionAn afternoon trip to Medoc that includes two types of chateaux, a Great Classified Growth estate, and a small. Book the tour here

An electric Bike wine tour – a fun bike tour that includes a visit to two chateaux, a picnic, and a stunning ride in the vineyards of Saint Emilion. Book here.

Wine tour in Saint Emilion
A tour in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Wine touring by public transport

Most wineries are located in very rural parts of the region and require a car to get to. Having said that, you have a few great chateaux in Saint Emilion, Medoc, and Pessac Leognan you can visit by train or buy. 

Read my article about the best wineries in Bordeaux to visit by public transport

Visiting wineries by car

Now let’s talk about my favorite option which is discovering the wineries of Bordeaux on your own by car. I feel like driving along the vineyards is an important part of the experience, which also allows getting to more distant chateaux. 

Also if you have a car or rent one in advance, it can be a rather cheap experience, compared to an organized wine tour. If you’re looking to rent a car, here’s a website to help you choose the best deal in Bordeaux

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check up my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, which will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visit in Bordeaux. To help you to choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you choose your preferred location.

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*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 🙂 

Visiting wineries in Bordeaux is definitely one of the highlights of traveling in the Southwest of France. More than 6000 wine châteaux are spread over the 120,000 hectares covering the Bordeaux wine region. Many of these offer tours and tastings but due to their rural location, they are quite hard to reach by public transport. 

I highly recommend visiting the Bordeaux vineyards by car just because it gives you more flexibility and because the view on the way to the vineyards is magical (here’s a link to find a car rental in Bordeaux). But if you don’t want to drive, don’t give up the dream to visit a Bordeaux winery just yet! Several amazing châteaux are reachable by train or bus, and I’m here to help you discover them!

*Before you decide what wineries you’re going to visit I recommend reading my article about the Bordeaux wine region where I explain what to expect in every wine sub-region.

To make it easier for you to understand the region, I divided the article into subregions, with a list of wineries you can visit without a car. So whether you want to learn how Saint Emilion wine is produced or visit an ancient winery without actually leaving Bordeaux, I have you covered. 

If you’re looking for more organized options such as private or semi-private tours to the vineyards, scroll to the end of the article. There are many options there.  

See other wine-related articles here:
Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
The Medoc wine route
Best family-friendly wineries in Bordeaux
Bordeaux wine region – the full guide
All the Open door events in the wineries of Bordeaux

Here are the best wineries in Bordeaux you can visit without a car!

Visit wineries in Bordeaux by bus or tram 

You’d be surprised to learn that a few of Bordeaux’s wineries are sitting within the city limits and are reachable by tram/bus. These are naturally the easiest ones to get to and that’s why they are the first on my list.  

Château Pape Clément in Pessac

A simple bus ride from the center of Bordeaux will bring you to one of the most gorgeous châteaux in Bordeaux. Château Pape Clément is a Grand Cru Classé wine labeled under the Pessac Leognan appellation. The vineyards of Château Pape Clément were planted at the request of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, the future Pope Clement V. The castle itself was built much later and has beautiful Neo-Gothic embellishments. Today apart from producing wine, it’s also one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in Bordeaux

The château offers daily visits in both French and English as well as winemaking workshops where you can assemble your own wine. 

You can book the tour online – just click here.

The château is located in Pessac, one of Bordeaux, most interesting suburbs. You can spend the whole day, discovering Pessac with the help of my article – check it out here

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Château pape Clement by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 216 Av. Dr. Nancel Penard, 33600 Pessac
How to get there: You can take a direct bus (line 4) from Place de Tourny in the center of Bordeaux. The second option is to take Tram B to the Pessac Centre station and then continue by foot for about 20 minutes until you reach the château. See more info here.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 19:00 and Sundays 10:00 to 18:00

Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc

Château du Taillan is a beautiful Bordeaux wine estate dating back to the 19th century. Today it’s owned by five sisters who all contribute in some form to their wine-making business. The winery produces red, white, and rosé wines and is labeled as “Médoc Cru bourgeois”. 

Château du Taillan is labeled under the Medoc wine appellation, but I’ve put it in this segment just because it’s located in the Bordeaux metropole region and is easily reachable by bus from the center of Bordeaux. 

The winery offers several visits. The classic one allows you to taste two wines of Château du Taillan. While their most expensive tour takes you on a more intimate journey to discover the house where the sisters grew up. This one ends with tastings of four different wines accompanies by cheese and chocolate. You can read about all their tours and book your visit here.

During the high season, you can also order a picnic basket from the château and have a fabulous lunch in their garden. You can see more info about that here

Château du Taillan - how to visit wineries in Bordeuax without a car
Château du Taillan by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 56 Av. de la Croix, 33320 Le Taillan-Médoc
How to get there from Bordeaux: You can take a direct bus (line 2) from Place des Quinconces in the direction of le Taillan la Boetie, get down at La Pargaud station and walk for 5 minutes until you reach the chateau. See the schedule of line 2 here.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 and Sundays 10:00 to 16:00

Château Les Carmes Haut Brion

Château Les Carmes Haut Brion is one the most interesting visits for both wine and art lovers. Its history goes back to the 16th century when the Lord of Haut Brion, Jean de Pontac, donated a windmill surrounded by vines to the Carmelite Order. In the 17th century, the Carmelite order purchased more land with vines and continued to develop the estate for more than two centuries.

Today the château is owned by Patrice Pichet, who turned it into a modern winery. The 35 hectares château produces red wines under the appellation of Pessac Leognan. It’s actually the only winery to be located in the limits of Bordeaux city. What makes the tour more exceptional is the stunning modern reception area designed by Philip Starck in 2016.

This is a prestigious château and the prices of the tours are higher than most wineries on this list (ranging from 45€ to 70€ per person). See all the details of the tours they offer here.

Address: 20 Rue des Carmes, 33000 Bordeaux
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take line A of the tram at Hôtel de Ville (in the direction of Pin Galant), get down at the Saint Augustin station and walk about 10 minutes until you get to the château. You can also take the bus and get directly to the chateau in about 15 minutes. Take the bus (line 24) from Republic station (next to Place de la Republique). See the schedule here
Opening hours: Mon-Sat from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00 (by appointment only). 

Château Olivier

Another gem in the Pessac Leognan appellation is Château Olivier. Just a few km from Bordeaux, you’ll find a beautiful château, surrounded by a forest and vines. Château Olivier is a Grand Cru Classé producing red and white wines. Since 2014, the winery produces only organic wines from its 60 hectares. 

The château offers several visiting experiences where you could learn about their wine-making process, and taste wine straight from the barrel. 

Book your visit here.

Address: 173 Av. de Bordeaux, 33850 Léognan
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take bus number 5 from Palais de Justice (a few minutes walk from Place Pey Berland). Get off the bus at the Piscine Chambéry station in Leognan, just a few minutes walk from Chateau Olivier. See more info here
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 by appointment only – book here

Château Saint Ahon In Blanquefort

If you’re traveling with kids, I highly recommend vising Château Saint Ahon in Blanquefort. The Chateau is a family-owned winery located at the very beginning of the Medoc wine route

My kids particularly enjoyed the gardens, called Les Jardins de Mirabel. The gardens offer a fun discovery trail that teaches kids about winemaking and nature in the region in a playful way. For more info about the visit and the gardens click here

Château Saint Ahon  in Medoc is easy to reach by bus
Château Saint Ahon – by lost in Bordeaux

Address: 57 Rue de St Ahon, 33290 Blanquefort
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take line C to the Blanquefort train station and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take bus 38 from the Blanquefort train station to the Caychac station. See the timetable here
Opening hours: The winery is open all year long apart from August and you don’t have to book the visit in advance, just check out the opening hours before going. 

Discover more family-friendly chateaux in the Bordeaux wine region in my article. 

Visiting wineries in Saint Emilion by public transport

The best way to get to Saint Emilion without a car is by taking the train from Gare Saint Jean in Bordeaux. The train doesn’t stop in the center of Saint Emilion, but a 20 minutes walk will get you into this medieval treasure. Most châteaux are located quite far from the town itself but a few are within a walking distance from the city center. Leave some time to discover Saint Emilion itself, it’s one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux. For more wineries to visit in Saint Emilion check out my article

If you’re planning to do a weekend in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in the Saint Emilion region

Château Villemaurine

Château Villemaurine is one of the most popular visits to tourists visiting Saint Emilion. The Château combines tradition, modernity, centuries of history, and the refined production of great wines.

Château Villemaurine offers two group guided tours. A discovery tour where you get to visit the vineyards and the monolithic cellars which are located underneath the vines of the estate. A Heritage tour where you will discover the stunning network of quarries owned by the Château.  Click here to book the tour online.

Address: 23 Villemaurine-Sud, Saint-Émilion
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take the train from Gare Saint Jean to the Saint Emilion train station and walk for about 20 minutes in the direction of the center of Saint Emilion. 
Opening hours: Château Villemaurine is open daily all year long (closed from mid-Dec to mid-Jan). Book a tour in English here

Château Soutard

Château Soutard is an impressive 18th-century winery, located a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion. It’s about 30 minutes walk from the train station but it’s worth a visit if you’re going to visit the village anyway.  The Château offers plenty of fun activities such as a wine blending workshop, biking in the vineyards, a gourmet picnic, and of course, wine tours.

Their basic wine tour (20€ / person) starts at 15h every day from April to October. The tour includes a visit to their vineyards and cellars and a tasting of their renowned Grand Cru Classé wines. To book any of their activities click here.

Chateau Soutard in saint emilion
Chateau Soutard by lost in Bordeaux

Address: Soutard, 33330 Saint-Émilion
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take the train from Gare Saint Jean to the Saint Emilion train station and walk for about 30 minutes in the direction of the center of Saint Emilion. 
Opening hours: The schedule is changing during the less touristy season. When in Bordeaux, be sure to contact them for information about tours in English.

Château La Gaffelière

Closer to the train station you can find Château La Gaffelièr. The winery is classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé under the Saint Emilion wine classification, making it one of the more prestigious estates on this list. 

The château belongs to the Malet-Roquefort family who is very passionate about sharing their wine-making craft. Their group tours, lasting for about an hour, take you through their colorful vats and the underground barrel cellar. The visit includes a tasting of three of their wines. Book your tour here

Address: Château La Gaffelière, BP 65 / 33330 Saint-Emilion
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take the train from Gare Saint Jean to the Saint Emilion train station and walk a few minutes to get to the chateau. 
Opening hours: Château La Gaffelière is open daily from April to November 12 and on a few specific dates during other months of the year. Check out their availability here

Visiting Medoc without a car

There are a few wineries in Medoc you can easily reach by train but yet again, if you have the option to do it by car, I highly recommend it. Driving the Medoc wine route is one of the most remarkable experiences Bordeaux has to offer. If you want to follow that advice, here’s a link to find a car from a few locations in Bordeaux. 

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 for chateaux to visit. Check out the schedule here

Château Marquis de Terme

If you choose Medoc for your wine trip, I highly recommend visiting Château Marquis de Terme. It’s a fantastic place to visit during summer times as they have an open bar in the garden where you can get wine, cheese, and charcuterie. A perfect way to end your tour. 

If you’ve already visited a few wineries in your life and don’t necessarily want to go through yet another explanation about winemaking, this place also offers wine tasting without a tour. Château Marquis de Terme also has a great restaurant which is yet another reason to go there. 

You can book your visit here

Château Marquis de Terme - medoc - one of the only wineries in Bordeaux you can visit by public transpot
Château Marquis de Terme – by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 3 Rte de Rauzan, 33460 Margaux
How to get there from Bordeaux: take a train from Gare Saint Jean to Margaux (in the direction of le Verdon) and walk a few minutes to the winery. If you’re staying closer to the city center, take tram C, to get to the Blanquefort station instead of Gare Saint-Jean.
Opening hours: Château Marquis de Terme offers visits daily from April to mid-November and only on weekdays during the winter season. 

Château Ferrière

Another great winery to visit in Margaux is Château Ferrière, founded in the 18th century by a shipbroker named Gabriel Ferriere. In 1988 the château was sold to Jacques Merlaut, the owner of Château Chasse-Spleen, La Gurgue, and Haut-Bages Liberal. The Merlaut family revived the winery and produced its first vintage in 1992. Today, the château is run by the granddaughter, Claire Villars, who took over the family business after the tragic death of her parents in a car accident. 

A variety of tours are available to you at Château Ferrière, all of which include wine tasting, of course. One of their popular tours takes you through the history of the chateau while another is more focused on the agricultural aspect of wine production.

Book your tour at the Château here

Address: 33 bis Rue de la Tremoille, 33460 Margaux-Cantenac
How to get there from Bordeaux: take a train from Gare Saint Jean to Margaux (in the direction of le Verdon) and walk a few minutes to the winery. If you’re staying closer to the city center, take tram C, to get to the Blanquefort station instead of Gare Saint-Jean. The winery is located about 1km from the train station. 
Opening hours: During the tourist season (June to mid-October) the château is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30 and from Monday to Friday the rest of the year. 

Château Chasse Spleen

Staying in the same family, we move north to the Paulliac area. The beautiful Château Chasse-Spleen belonged to Jacques Merlaut, one of the most important figures in the Medoc wine region. For many years it was run by his daughter, Bernadette and she’s credited for its high reputation. Today it’s managed by one of her daughters Celine Villars and her husband. The 107 hectares winery is labeled under the Moulis en Medoc, the smallest appellation in the Medoc wine region. 

The château, dating to the 16th century has a very long history before the Merlaut family acquired it. And you will hear all about it on the tour! You can also combine the classic visit with a light lunch (charcuterie, wine, and a small local dessert).
Choose and book your visit here

Château Chasse-Spleen also has a wine bar and an art gallery, which are worth a visit even if you’re don’t fancy a wine tour. 
They also have a fabulous hotel, just in case you’re looking for a romantic weekend 🙂
Check it out here

Address: 33 bis Rue de la Tremoille, 33460 Margaux-Cantenac
As with all the other Medoc wineries on this list, you need to take the train from Bordeaux in the Direction of Le Verdon. This time you’re getting off at the Pauillac station. The chateau is located about 15 minutes walk from there. 
Opening hours: From April 21st to November 6th and on public holidays, open 7/7
10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm.  From November to March, tours and tastings by appointment only from Monday to Friday (email at visites@chasse-spleen.com).

Visiting Graves by train 

Château de Cerons 

Château de Cerons is one of the more impressive properties on the list. It’s also one of the only wineries in the Graves region you can reach by public transport. A few other wineries in Graves are reachable by bike, but that’s for another article 🙂 

The château is a historical Chartreuse (little house) dating back to the 17th century. The winery produces both red and white dry wines and offers a range of different visits that include wine tasting, picnic baskets with regional products, and more. 

It’s one of the more kids-friendly chateaux in the region. You can rent bikes at the château and go on a beautiful rural path discovering the heritage of the village and the Garonne river. If you want to discover some other kids-friendly options, check out my dedicated list

You can book their tours here.

For picnics and bike rentals, you can check their website.

Address: 1 Latour, 33720 Cérons
How to get there from Bordeaux: Take the TER train from Gare Saint Jean in Bordeaux to the Cerons station.  Château de Cerons is located within a 15 minutes walk from the station. 
Opening hours: Mon to Sat from May to October and Mon to Fri from November to April – by appointment only.

Wine tours from Bordeaux city

In case you’re too nervous to use public transport in Bordeaux there are a few other solutions. 

visit Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion – by lost in Bordeaux

A semi-private wine tour to Saint Emilion

There are quite a few companies offering private and semi-private tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion or Medoc. 

St. Emilion Village Half-Day Wine Tour

With this semi-private tour, you get to visit the village and one winery in Saint Emilion. Book it here

Saint-Émilion Food and Wine Tour

If you want a full-day trip to Saint Emilion I recommend taking the one offered by Olala Bordeaux. Their tour lasts about six hours and includes a visit to three châteaux in Saint Emilion as well as a fun picnic. Book it here

Afternoon Wine Tasting in the Medoc Region

This is a great option if you rather go to the Medoc wine region without a car. An afternoon trip taking you from Bordeaux to discover two very different wineries on the Chateaux route. One is a small family-owned winery and the other is one of Bordeaux’s more prestigious Great Classified Growth wine estates. Book the tour here

Rustic vines 

This company takes you from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion where you hop on an electric bike. That’s another really fun way to discover the religion.  See more details here

Just to conclude, visiting wineries in the Bordeaux region is a marvelous experience that you should not miss even if you don’t have a car. In this list, you have so many amazing options for chateaux reachable by public transport! Now it’s time to choose the one you like most! Enjoy!

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*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 🙂 

The Sauternes and Barsac wine AOC is a small segment of the Bordeaux wine region where sweet white wine is produced. And while Bordeaux is mostly renowned for its red wine, the Sauternes appellation is actually one of the most prestigious wines in the world attracting many tourists traveling to Bordeaux.

There are many options when it comes to visiting the vineyards of Sauternes, everything from small family-owned wineries to big producers settled in stunning châteaux. If you have limited time in Bordeaux, knowing which wineries to visit isn’t always obvious and that’s where my article comes in handy. In this article, I gathered all the wineries I enjoyed visiting in Sauternes and Barsac, including the touristic experiences they offer. 

It’s important to know that most wineries ask you to book your visit in advance (even though some might offer you a spontaneous tour), that’s why I included a link to book a tour next to every château mentioned in this article. Public transport in this region is not very developed so you will need a car in order to get from Bordeaux to Sauternes and visit wineries, here you can find some good offers.
If renting a car is not something you plan to do, here are a few wineries in the Bordeaux region you can visit by public transport.

If you like Bordeaux wine, you should also check out my articles about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion and the Medoc wine route, two of the other famous wine areas in Bordeaux. To get a general idea about the different wine appellations of Bordeaux read my guide to the Bordeaux wine region.

What you need to know about Sauternes wine

The Sauternes (and Barsac) appellation covers five small villages in the South of Gironde: Sauternes, Barsac, Preignac, Fargues, and Bommes located between two rivers, the Garonne and the Ciron. Sauternes wine owes its rich taste to Botrytis Cinerea, a fungus found on the grapes in this small part of Gironde. In Autumn, a morning mist is created when the cold water of the Ciron river meets the warm water of the larger Garonne, stimulating the formation of a fungus, also known as noble rot. 

In order to achieve the sweet taste, only the ripe grapes are picked up, which makes the harvesting process longer and more complicated. But that’s also what makes the visit to Sauternes so interesting. 

Wineries not to miss in Sauternes and Barsac

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey – the fancy winery

The Sauternes oped doors weekend introduced me to the Lafaurie-Peyraguey winery, which back then I chose to go to mostly based on how impressive the château was.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Bomme is one of the oldest chateaux in the region, dating back to the 13th century. The Château with its 18.5 hectares is located on a hill, 70 m above sea level, just next to its prestigious neighbor Château d’Yquem. It is also one of the most esteemed wineries in the Sauternes wine region, recognized as a Sauternes Premier Grand Cru Classé in the 1855 classification.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey is open every day (10:00 – 19:00) in the high season and from Thursday to Monday (10:00 – 18:00) in the low season. You can visit the winery by appointment only.

You can book your tour in Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey here

However, this beautiful place is more than a winery! The Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey 5 stars Hotel was opened in 2018, receiving a Michelin star for its Lalique restaurant in its first year. Since then it became a must-stop for those looking for a luxurious experience in the Bordeaux wine region. If you’re looking for an idea for a romantic weekend, this one is definitely a great option. Book a stay here

Château d’Arche

Another chateau I had the chance to visit this year is château d’Arche. The 50-hectare winery in the Sauternes village dates back to the 17th century and has one of the most beautiful views of both the vineyards and the little church of Sauternes. The visit itself takes place at their modern facility where you will find the vat room, tasting room, and a beautiful shop. Just across the road you will find the beautiful 17th-century house where their hotel is located.  

Château d’Arche is open daily all year long and offers many touristic experiences. One is the discovery visit of the Sauternes wine, a tour that takes about an hour and includes an explanation of the Sauternes-making process. On this visit you get to see their cellars and vineyards and taste 3 different wines of the chateaux – you can book the visit here

Château d'Arche - one of the best wineries to visit in Sauternes
View from Château d’Arche

If you want something more active, you can also rent an electric bike at the chateau for a day/ half day, stroll around Sauternes admiring the view, and then finish with wine tasting at the chateau. If you’re mainly interested in wine tasting, book their workshop where you’ll learn to better understand the characteristics of the different wines the château offers. See other activities offered by Château d’Arche here.

If you’re planning to discover several wineries in the region, you could also stay the night in Château d’Arche. Book your stay here.

Château Guiraud

Château Guiraud is one of the biggest wineries in the Sauternes and Barsac AOC, spreading over 128 hectares. The winery, specializing in biodiversity, is classified as Premier Cru Classé (first growth) in the original classification of 1855. 

Château Guiraud is renowned for the many touristic activities and events it has been offering in the past 30 years. There are two English tours you can do on a regular basis. A tasting tour where you’ll learn all about their wine-making process and compare different vintages. The other is a more active tour where you take an electric bike from the château and use a special app to discover the property. Book their tours here

Château Guiraud one of the best wineries to visit in Suaternes
Château Guiraud

Château de Rayne Vigneau

Le Château de Rayne Vigneau in Bommes is another one of my favorite wineries to visit in Sauternes. Imagine yourself sipping wine at a bar in a beautiful little château, glancing at a sea of vines from the top of a hill, that’s what a visit to Château de Rayne Vigneau feels like. 

The château is positioned at the center of a single-block vineyard of 84 hectares and was labeled as 1er Grand Cru Classé de Sauternes in the original 1855 classification, making it one of the top wines of Sauternes. 

Rayne Vigneau is known for being very welcoming to tourists and will usually offer wine tastings even if you didn’t book a visit in advance (even though I always recommend doing so in case there’s a surge of visitors). In addition to their classic tours, Château de Rayne Vigneau offers fun activities like wine tasting on a tree, an escape game, and a trip around Sauternes on an electric scooter. See all the details here

The winery is open daily from April to November and is closed on Sunday during low season.

Château de Rayne Vigneau
The cellar of Château de Rayne Vigneau

Château de Myrat

Château de Myrat is located in Barsac and it’s one of the wineries I love to recommend to families visiting the Bordeaux wine region

The Château dates back to 1700 but since 1937 is owned by the famous Pontac family. Apart from their great wine and the beautiful property, what makes the visit fun for kids is the cute animal garden, with chickens, rabbits, dogs, and more. See more details about the château here

Château de Myrat is open for visits every day, upon appointment only. Here’s the email to contact and book: myrat@chateaudemyrat.fr

Château de Myrat
Château de Myrat

Château Filhot

Château Filhot, another Grand Cru Classé winery, is one of the most impressive castles in the Sauternes AOC.  The chateau was built by Romain de Filhot, an advisor to the Bordeaux Parliament in 1709, and has stayed in the family since. It’s one of the biggest estates in the region, covering 350 hectares with 65 hectares of vineyards in the village of Sauternes. Château Filhot is also known for its stunning English park, created by Bernard Fischer in 1845. 

The winery offers tours without prior appointment from Monday to Friday, although I recommend booking in advance if you want a tour in English. If you’re planning to visit on weekends, booking is required, here’s the email to contact the château: filhot@filhot.com

See opening hours and more information about the winery on their site

Château Filhot
Château Filhot

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share a lot of info about the area – sign up here.

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 where I publish a weekly ‘what to do’ newsletter, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to a weekend Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

*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 🙂 

The Cité du Vin is one of the most popular attractions on the tourist trail in Bordeaux. In the last couple of years, it has become one of Bordeaux’s most iconic institutions even though it’s quite new. The Cité du Vin was inaugurated in 2016 with the goal of celebrating wine and educating people about its production and history. The spectacular building can be seen from afar and uplifts the grungy port of Bassin a Flot, where the museum is located. Its shape is inspired by the movement of wine swirling in a glass. What’s inside the 55m giant and why do so many people rush to visit it? In this article, I’ll offer you a glimpse into what is considered to be the best wine center in the world. I’ll explain what you’ll experience in the main exhibition, what other attractions are offered and why it’s worth visiting even if you’re not a wine lover. Step with me into Bordeaux’s fascinating wine world.

What will you find in Cité du Vin in Bordeaux 

My good friend Julie calls the Cite du Vin an amusement park for wine lovers, and that in my opinion, describes it the best. It’s an interactive journey into the wine world offering anything from videos, touch screens, sensory tables and more. On your journey you will discover all the important wine regions in the world, learn about the different types of grapes, the fermentation process and on the history of wine in different areas across the globe.

The permanent exhibition includes 19 sections divided into six areas. The first area is dedicated to the wine regions of the world and welcomes you with huge screens portraying breathtaking images from the world’s most famous wine regions. It’s a beautiful video getting you into the mood to learn everything you can about wine. 

cite du vin - wine of the world
The most beautiful wine regions in the world – all photos by lost in Bordeaux

The second part is much more technical and will teach you about the whole process of how grapes turn into wine. Although there are quite a lot of technical explanations involved, the Cité du Vin made it interactive and entertaining enough to intrigue even those not obsessed with wine. One of the best sections in this area is the wine portraits. Flat touch screens, surrounded by gigantic wooden bottle shaped statues, help you explore the major wine types, from red to sweet whites and onto the sparkling ones. 

cite du vin - different types of wine
An interactive way to learn about different types of wine at the Cité du Vin

The third area is about wine and civilization. Here you’ll learn the history of wine routes and how the sea voyages of wine transportation used to look like. The fourth part is dedicated to imagination and has a magnificent space where you can lay down, listen to music, close your eyes and think of wine. 

cite du vin - aromas of wine
The buffet of the five senses

The fifth area is called “wine and you”, and includes my favorite part in the museum, the “buffet of the five senses”. Plenty of different food items from fruits to honey and cookies are presented in front of you on two big tables, allowing you to explore different wine aromas. The sixth and last area is dedicated to the hosting city, Bordeaux. Here you will learn about the wine history of the biggest wine region in France and the tale of the city itself. 

When you finish exploring the exhibition, you will move to one of the best parts of the visit – the wine tasting. For that, you need to go back to the ground floor and take another elevator to the 8th and last floor of Bordeaux’s wine museum. The floor is called the Belvedere and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Bordeaux. You can choose one wine from one of the regions the exhibition is currently focusing on and take your glass to the balcony to admire the view. A perfect ending to this enriching experience. 

wine tasting cite du vin
wine tasting at the end of the tour

How to explore Bordeaux’s wine museum?

The permanent exhibition is so big that you need at least half a day to cover it all and let’s face it, some people don’t have the time nor the patience for that. If you have only two-three hours to visit the cite du vin you have four trails you can follow. The museum offers four self-guided theme tours that focus on different aspects of the wine world. 

The Essentials tour

This tour is supposed to take up to an hour and a half (If you follow their recommendations) and will get you familiar with some of the most famous wine regions in the world. You will meet winegrowers (virtually of course) that will tell you about their traditions, the grapes they use and the volumes of their production. Just touch the screen on one of the tables dedicated to Argentina, Georgia, Italy, France and more. You will then explore the design aspect of wine with videos of beautiful wine cellars and trendy wine bars. The trail also includes the senses table and wine portraits that allow you to acquire a lot of new knowledge about the different types of wines. Their guide instructs you on how much time to spend on every station so you can actually end the tour on time.

cite du vin - wine makers
Meet the winemakers of the world

The Making wine tour

Besides the “wine of the world” area, this trail includes the “E-Vigne” section that is dedicated to the grapes and their selection by winegrowers. This is a very interactive station with some kids’ trivia questions about winemaking. Most of this route focuses on the “metamorphoses of wine” section, which will teach you all about the vats, fermentation and aging in barrels. The tour takes about an hour.

cite du vin
Learn everything about winemaking

Feast your eyes tour

Another shorter visit can be done with the “Feast your eyes” trail which leads you through some of the more colorful sections with screens and music. This one is particularly recommended to those who are not very interested in wine and just came for the flashy experience. 

Cite du vin  - colors of wine
A fun place even if you don’t like wine

Did you know that a visit to the Cité du Vin can be kids friendly?

Last but not least is the Juniors tour for kids ages 7-12 years old. This trail will help your kids discover the wine world. It includes all the sections where they can touch, smell, look, feel and play. They will smell the aromas on the senses table, answer trivia questions about grapes, watch an amazing cartoon about the wine journey in the sea and discover the history of Bordeaux through an interactive game. 

What else is there to do at the wine museum? 

When you finish the permanent exhibition don’t be in a rush to leave the Cité du Vin, you still have a lot of things to do there. First of all the ticket includes access to the temporary exhibition as well. The Museum regularly hosts great exhibitions that focus on different aspects of the wine world. At the time of writing this article, the temporary exhibition was dedicated to the wine of Argentina while previously there was a beautiful exhibition that portrayed the relationship of wine and glass. The temporary exhibition is located on the first floor where you will also find a beautiful library of wine-related books. 

glass expo in cite du vin
Great temporary exhibitions at the cite du vin – glass and wine

The first floor is also where the wine tasting workshops are taking place. Several modern rooms dedicated to daily wine workshops in French, English and Spanish (mostly during the high season). The English workshop is mainly dedicated to Bordeaux wines while those in French are varied. You can choose workshops about specific wine regions or learn how to match wine with cheese or chocolate. 

If you’re looking for other places in Bordeaux to taste and learn about the wines of the region, you should check my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux.

Wine tasting workshop at the cite du vin
Wine tasting workshop at the cite du vin

On the first floor, you will also find the amazing wine shop that includes around 800 bottles, with 600 of them representing non-French wines. The seventh floor is the fancy Le 7 Restaurant that offers a beautiful view of Bordeaux.

All the practical details you need to know before going to Cite du Vin

Tickets and prices

The ticket are a bit pricey but definitely worth the one-time experience. A regular ticket that includes the permanent and temporary exhibition and one glass of wine costs 20 euros for an adult, 9 euros for kids and free for kids under 6 years old (you have to present something to prove it). A family pack is 50 euros and worth buying if you are two adults and two kids. 

The museum is very popular and sometimes the lines to buy tickets can be quite long. To avoid that you can purchase the tickets online in advance and head straight to the entrance door when you arrive. Click here to reserve your tickets in advance. 

Opening hours

The opening hours of Cité du Vin are Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday – Sunday and bank and school holidays from 10am to 7pm. The hours change in the high season so check them out on the site of the museum before going. 

How to get to the wine museum

The easiest way to get to Cité du Vin is by tram B that passes through the center of Bordeaux. The station is called “Cité du Vin” and it’s located just next to the museum. If you come from the other side of the Garonne river you can also take the public transport boat (BAT 3). It accepts the same ticket as a tram but you get there in a more stylish way 🙂 For more information about the hours and stations of the BAT3 – click here.

Another option is taking the city bikes from one of the V3 stations that are spread all over the city. The ride from the city center to the wine museum is one of the best things to do when visiting Bordeaux. I’ve even included it in my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux in one day

What else is there to do next to the wine museum

If you don’t have anything planned after your visit to the museum don’t rush to leave this cool neighborhood. As you will see, Bassin a Flot, the port of Bordeaux has a totally different feel and look than the elegant center of Bordeaux. This is one of the rising districts of Bordeaux with plenty of street art, bars, music venues and even a chic market. If you want to learn more about the neighborhood around the museum check out my article about the north district of Bordeaux

things to do in Bacalan Bordeaux
The Bacalan district in Bordeaux

If you want to explore the Bordeaux wine region more in-depth check out my articles about the best wineries in Saint Emilion and about traveling in the Medoc wine region.

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a place to stay I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred AirBnB location.

Lost in Bordeaux helps you enjoy the city and region in many ways so be sure to follow us on facebook/Instagram for more daily updates on things to do and see. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.