Saint Emilion, one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world, is home to more than 800 wineries. Choosing which wineries to visit when traveling to Saint Emilion is not an easy task. So to help you out, I gathered a list of all the wineries I enjoyed visiting the most.
The Saint Emilion wine region consists of nine villages/towns: Saint-Émilion, Saint-Christophe des Bardes, Saint-Sulpice de Faleyrens, Saint-Hippolyte, Saint-Etienne de Lisse, Saint-Laurent des Combes, Saint-Pey d’Armens, Vignonet and parts of Libourne.
My criteria when including chateaux in my list where
- Great wine (obviously)
- Beautiful properties
- Welcoming chateaux owners and interesting tours
Other than that, I featured both small family-run properties and bigger châteaux which are labeled as a Grand grand cru classé. I highly recommend combining both types of chateaux on your visit.
Saint Emilion is also one of the most beautiful villages near Bordeaux. If time permits, dedicate a few hours to discovering this medieval little gem. To help you make it a perfect day I wrote a detailed article about the best things to do and eat in Saint Emilion.
If you’re planning to stay in Saint Emilion here’s my recommendation for hotels in and around the village.
If you’re traveling with kids, here’s my article about the most kid-friendly wineries in the Bordeaux region (including Saint Emilion). Also at the end of the article, there’s a great recommendation for discovering Saint Emilion with the little ones.
Important note – you need a car to reach most of the wineries mentioned in this article, here you can find the best offers. There are a few wineries however which are a walking distance from the center of Saint Emilion. Check out my article about all the wineries you can visit by public transport in the Bordeaux region.
For those of you coming to Bordeaux in September, you should know that it’s the grapes harvest season. To learn more about what to expect during that period go to my article about the harvest season in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion. Also if you’re interested in discovering other regions of the Bordeaux wine area, check out my article about the Medoc wine route. Now let’s dig in!
Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
Chateau de Pressac
Château de Pressac was probably one of my favorite winery visits thanks to its welcoming service and stunning view.
The Chateau dates back to the middle ages and over the years has changed many hands and architectural styles. Since 1997 it belongs to the Quenin family who has done extensive work to rebuild the winery.
The chateau has probably one of the most beautiful views in Saint Emilion. Standing there on the top of the cliff with a glass of wine was one of the highlights of my visits to Saint Emilion over these few years.
The winery offers different experiences from wine tasting to a discovery of their property. The wine of Château de Pressac is fantastic, but as it’s Grand cru classé the prices are quite high.
The chateau is open daily but you need to book the visit in advance.
Click here to book a tour online.
Where: 66 Château de Pressac, 33330 Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse
Château Bernateau is a family-run winery owned by the 11th generation of the Lavau family.
The tour is run by the lovely Karine who is married to one of the sons running the family business. The visit, which lasts around an hour and a half, takes you from the vineyard to the glass.
On the tour, you’ll discover a variety of old (60 yo) vines together with baby ones. You also get to visit their beautiful gravity vat house and taste wine from different years and styles.
It’s a beautiful property with a green and charming garden and a small playhouse for kids. A perfect place for a relaxed visit which you can also end with a picnic in the garden.
They are open daily and offer tours in English and French. Tour prices range from 6 to 25 euros. Click here to book a tour online.
Address: Château Bernateau, 33330 Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse
This elegant château is located about 20 minutes walk from the center of Saint-Émilion. The property has been handed down from generation to generation since the 17th century leading to a rich history of 400 years.
Today, the family’s 14th generation lives on the property and runs the winemaking business. The David-Beaulieu family is very welcoming and they guide the tours themselves giving a very personal feel to it.
One of the features that won me over is their amazing garden with its own pond and ducks. This picturesque scenery combined with the excellent wine made it one of the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.
This is also one of the best wineries to visit with kids. Mine absolutely adored the garden and didn’t want to leave.
There are two tours to choose from:
The “Tradition” ( 14€) includes the history of the estate, a visit to the winery and the family cellar, and wine tasting. And the “Prestige” visit (40€), which is for 8 people max, also includes a tour through the vineyards and an exploration of Coutet’s treasures.
Book your visit at Chateau Coutet.
Address: Coutet, 33330 Saint-Émilion
Château La Croizzille
Château la Croizille offers a fascinating journey combining old and new. The modern château stands right next to the traditional Château of Tour Baladoz, owned by the same family.
This tour allows you to discover the differences between the traditional techniques and the innovative ones for which Château la Croizille is known for. One of the highlights of this tour is the amazing view from the tasting room overlooking the vineyards from the top.
The basic tour is offered daily and includes modern cellars and tastings.
Address: lieu-dit Baladoz, 33330 Saint-Laurent des Combes (Saint-Emilion)
The Beaurang winery is located in the southern part of Saint-Émilion, about 5 km from the center. This isn’t a fancy château, but if you’re looking for a warm family welcome and great wine this is the right place for you.
Claude Puyol and his daughter Delphine represent the third and fourth generations in this artisanal wine-making family. A family with a beautiful history they love sharing with their guests.
Claude’s grandparents immigrated to France from Spain in the early 20th century. For many years they worked as simple workers in the vineyards of Saint Emilion. But eventually, we were able to save enough to buy their own château and produce wine.
The visit will teach you quite a lot about the wine in the region and about the life of a winemaker. During the tour, Claude elaborated on the beauty and struggles of wine growers in a conservative region like Saint Emilion.
The tours are offered every day from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00. They offer the visit for free but require a reservation. Email them to book a tour: email@example.com
Address: Château Beaurang, 1, Beaurang, 33330 Saint-Emilion
Chateau Cadet Bon
Château Cadet Bon is one of the hilly vineyards surrounding Saint Emilion. It’s a relatively small winery, occupying 7 hectares and producing classic Saint Emilion wine since 1867.
Since 2001, the chateau is owned by Michele and Guy Richard who completely renovated the property.
The wine they produce is labeled as Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé, which means they follow tighter production restrictions. In 2017, the owners have started the transformation to creating only organic wines.
Château Cadet Bon is located just a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion, which makes it another great option for a winery to visit by public transport.
The winery offers several tours. The small group tour includes a tasting of two wines accompanied by a detailed explanation.
The second tour offers a comparative experience where you get to also taste other wines from Saint Emilion and Pomerol and compare them to Château Cadet Bon.
They also offer a wine-tasting course, an amazing opportunity to deepen your understanding of how to properly taste wine.
You can book each one of these activities here.
Address: Au Cadet, 33330 Saint-Émilion.
At a mere 10-minute walk from the center of Saint-Émilion stands the impressive 18th-century Château Soutard. If visiting a beautiful château is high on your list, this is one of your best options.
Since 2006, its owned by La Mondiale company, so it lacks the cozy family feel that other wineries on this list offer. But it’s a very popular and highly rated experience.
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 English starts at 15h every day from April to October. If you speak French, you can take a French tour at 11:30 and 16:30 daily. The tour includes a visit to their vineyards and cellars and tastings of their renowned Grand Cru Classé wines.
No reservation is required but it’s highly recommended, you can reserve by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: Soutard, 33330 Saint-Émilion
Château Cantenac is a charming family-run winery built in 1870. The estate is located about 3.5 km from the center of Saint Emilion.
Since 1937 the winery is owned by the Roskam-Brunot family, which are now in their 3rd and 4th generations of winemakers. The family is very friendly and their tours are rich with knowledge about the winemaking process.
The tours are guided by a family member, who is really passionate about their heritage and wine. What I loved most about this tour was the tasting part, which was a great comparative and educational experience.
The winery offers two tours: The one-hour classic tour (10 € / per person) and the Prestige tour ( 30 € / per person ) which also includes some snacks and more wine. You can visit the château from Monday to Friday upon reservation. Click here to book the tour directly through their site.
Address: 2 locality Cantenac, 33330 Saint-Emilion
Château de Ferrand
Another impressive château on our list is Château de Ferrand, located about 6km from the center of Saint-Émilion. Part of the tour will include the history of the Château which dates back to the 17th century.
The wine is a Grand Cru Classé and with its 32-hectare, it’s considered a big winery in the Saint-Émilion wine region. During the tour, you’ll get to visit the vineyard and its big wine cellars. While many of the wineries on this list have a family feeling to them this one is a bit different. It’s much more professional and the wine-tasting part is conducted by a professional sommelier that will teach you how to taste wine.
Tour prices range between 15 and 35 euros depending on the number of glasses you’re going to taste. Click here to book a visit.
Address: Château de Ferrand, Saint-Hippolyte, 33330 Saint Emilion
If you come to Saint-Émilion by train and you really don’t want to leave the village, Château Villemaurine is perfect for you as it’s a short walking distance from the village center. The Château combines tradition, modernity, centuries of history, and the refined production of great wines.
Château Villemaurine offers three guided tours. The first one is a group discovery tour (15€ / person) where you get to visit the vineyards and the monolithic cellars which are located underneath the vines of the estate. Second is the Heritage tour (15€ / person ) where you will discover the stunning network of quarries owned by the Château Villemaurine. Last is a private tour (45€ / person) which is personally designed for wine enthusiasts. All the tours include wine tasting at the end. Click here to book the tour online.
Address: 23 Villemaurine-Sud, Saint-Émilion
Check out other wineries you can visit by public transport around Bordeaux.
Visiting with kids
If you’re visiting Saint-Émilion with kids and you’re afraid that a visit to a winery will bore them, take the train tour. The little train leaves every 45 minutes from Espace Villemaurine (next to the bus parking). It’s a 35 minutes tour (7€ / person) that takes you through the vineyards and the big châteaux of Saint-Émilion. If you wish to combine that with a winery visit, the 11€ tour includes a stop at Chateau Rochebelle and its stunning, beautifully lit monolithic cellars (with wine tastings at the end). The tickets can be bought in the tourist office in Saint-Émilion or online (24 hours in advance). For all the details and to book a train tour click here.
Discover all the other wineries you can visit with kids in the Bordeaux region.
If you’re planning to stay the night in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best hotels and B&Bs in and around Saint Emilion.
Now for the more practical part. While some châteaux will welcome spontaneous visitors, most of the wineries require prior reservations. So be sure to book the tours in advance. In addition, unless you’re coming during the summer, some of the châteaux are closed on the weekends, so if you have the chance, try visiting during the week. Lastly, while visiting Saint-Émilion is a beautiful experience any time of the year, there are some months that are less recommended for wine tours. During the winter (from December to March) and especially in January when it gets cold, many wineries are closed for visits. September is one of the most interesting times in the area as it’s the harvest season but take into account that many small châteaux don’t have enough staff to offer tours during that time so make sure to contact the château in advance.
Saint-Émilion is the queen of wine tourism and one article cannot possibly cover all the tours you can take in the area. In this article, I simply wanted to highlight some of the tours I personally enjoyed and offer a variety of both big and small châteaux to help my readers plan their trip to the area. Hope you liked it 🙂
If you’re also visiting Bordeaux be sure to check out my post about the best things to do in the city and the best hotels in Bordeaux. Saint-Émilion is not the only day trip you can do from Bordeaux. The area is full of historic villages and beautiful nature. If you want to discover some of them, I invite you to read my article about the best day trips you can do by train from Bordeaux.
If you want to learn more about wine (from Bordeaux and other regions) you can also visit the Cite du Vin, the amazing wine museum of Bordeaux. I wrote a whole article about it and you can read it here.
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.
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
Like the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Saint Emilion? Save it on your Pinterest board.
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 🙂