To my mind, Bordeaux is linked with two things, rugby and wine. Since the rugby season has ended let’s consider wine since Bordeaux is the centre of the world’s largest wine area. It has has long links to the UK. Richard the Lionheart introduced Bordeaux wine to Egland and we have been drinking it ever since.
Here is a quick guide to six of the winemakers in the area and what they have to offer the visitor this summer. Some offer tastings, tours and some will offer the chance to stay overnight in purpose built sites but these days vineyards offer a more. Here is a list of some Bordeaux vineyards that you might consider visiting
Château Mouton Rothschild
Going back to 1853, Château Mouton Rothschild, will open a new art gallery this summer to permanently house the travelling exhibition, Mouton Rothschild: Paintings for the Labels. In the past these have been designed by Miro, Picasso and Chagall. The new display space forms part of major renovations at the Pauillac First Growth, and will be the first time that all of the original artworks commissioned for the labels will be on display at the estate.
Château la Conseillante
The new winery, inaugurated in November 2012, contains modern, efficient equipment, including a whole new vathouse with enough tanks to individually make the wine of each of the 18 mini-plots that make up the 12-hectare (30-acre) vineyard. This means intra-plot management can be performed resulting in customized vinification processes (cold maceration, pumping over, pigeage, etc.) and ever-more accurate blending.
Château Pavie, a Premier Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion, is scheduled to inaugurate its new winery, managed by Alberto Pinto, in 2013.
Château le Pin / http://www.lepinbeausoleil.com/en/chateau/index.php
In Pomerol, the small estate of Château Le Pin inaugurated its new facilities in June 2012: the elegant construction was designed by the Flemish architects, Robbrecht and Daem, creators of London’s Whitechapel Gallery and winners of the architectural design competition for Bordeaux’s Municipal Archives building.
Situated on the famous “route des châteaux“ in the Médoc, Château Palmer has recently reopened after renovation.
Château Marquis de Terme
Located in Margaux, Château Marquis de Terme, is undergoing a complete renovation of its cellars with state of the art technology (conical vats, integral Vinification) and a new tasting room. (The website is only in French.)
From April 2013, 1855 1st Growth Château Margaux, is undergoing renovation with new cellars designed by Norman Foster. He will create an underground bottle library for past vintages and a new vinification cellar that will allow both the red and white wines of the château to be made in the same part of the estate for the first time since the late 1970s. Generally the cellars are only open for visits by apointment only.
Don’t also forget to visit the Musée du Vin where you can trace the history of wine making in the area in preparation for visiting some of the vineyards.
For more general information about Bordeaux, click here