If you want to discover the Medoc area, one of France’s most famous wine routes, this is an excellent time for a visit. On June 5-6, the Medoc wine region will celebrate its open doors at chateaux weekend. This famous event hosted by the Maison du Tourisme et du Vin de Pauillac usually takes place around April but had to be postponed due to COVID 19. It’s an incredible event that allows you to visit many of the wineries of the Médoc region and taste a lot of wine.
If you want to discover this beautiful region beyond the wine, you can also read my article about a weekend in the Medoc region where I talk about beaches, beautiful villages, wineries, and all the other wonders of this part of Gironde.
Le Week-end Portes Ouvertes (open doors weekend) in Médoc is an annual event that officially starts the tourist season in the wine region of southwest France. The first time that vineyards have collectively decided to open their doors to the public was in 1991 and it was an immediate success. The Week-end Portes Ouvertes has seen tens of thousands of visitors and the open house tradition was copied to other chateaux in France. This tradition has grown so much that it became a challenge to pick the best chateaux to visit during this weekend.
Around 80 wine châteaux from eight different AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) usually participate in the Portes Ouvertes weekend: MEDOC, HAUT MEDOC, PAUILLAC, SAINT ESTEPHE, SAINT JULIEN, LISTRAC, MOULIS and MARGAUX. The AOC is the French certification for geographical indications of agricultural products such as wine and cheeses. Click here to see which châteaux are participating in the event.
While wine is still at the heart of the event, today the various chateaux try to attract visitors with additional activities such as music, workshops, food, art expos, and games for kids. If you don’t have a specific winery (château) in mind you can choose one according to the proposed activities. I gathered a list of activities to help you choose one:
Wines are not the only product the Médoc region does well, it is also famous for its gastronomic specialties, such as: l’agneau de Pauillac (Pauillac lamb), l’entrecôte cuite aux sarments (entrecote cooked with wine shoots), les chocolats de Mademoiselle de Margaux and more. In addition to in-house restaurants, some of the chateaux offer gourmet markets, food trucks, and bars. So, besides tasting great wine you are guaranteed to have a great culinary experience. Choose one of these châteaux from the menu in this link to see the ones offering dining options.
Art in the Châteaux
Some of the châteaux will host exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, and photographs of both local and international artists. Choose one of these châteaux from the menu in this link to see the exhibitions displayed in every château.
Visiting with kids
Some châteaux try to make it a family-friendly event by proposing activities to entertain your kids while you are tasting wine. Choose one of these châteaux from the menu in this link to see the activities they propose.
Some of the châteaux require a prior reservation for the wine tastings and cellar tours, so if you found a château you would like to discover this weekend, hurry up and make a reservation by email or phone.
If you’re coming to Bordeaux especially for this occasion, be sure to check up my list of recommended hotels in Bordeaux center.
If you want to get updates about the portes ouvertes, join my email list here and I’ll send up-to-date info closer to the event.
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: