Self-Guided Wine Tour to the Graves Region in a Cabriolet Convertible - Bordeaux, France

Tasting
Red Wine, Wine
Activity
Meet The Maker
Tour
Chauffeured Tours
Cellar Tour
Vineyard Walk
Included
Tour guide
Languages
English, French
Theme
Adventure
Outdoor
Romantic
Countryside
Private
Customised
Cultural
Historical
Minimum Drinking Age
18
$
115
35
/ Person
Memosine S
Activity Overview
1 visit of a medieval castle, or wine château
At the wheel of your cabriolet convertible, take a drive through the "Graves" countryside, Montesquieu's native region (world famous philosopher and politician). During this getaway, you can choose between a guided visit of the "Château de La Brède" - Montesquieu's home - and a wine-tasting visit of a Classified Great Growth Château.

Discover at your own pace the Graves wine region, dotted with family estates as well as with the most prestigious "Pessac-Léognan" names. You are guided but free to make stops or detours as and when you please. 

Our vehicles tell stories as they are equipped with a multimedia GPS tablet guide. More than mere vehicles, they offer an unparalleled tourism experience, for fun and interactive getaways.

Bring along some friends for an even more enjoyable driving experience: several moving vehicles can be linked together, so you remain in control of your own tour!

Example of a program:
10:30 am: departure from the agency, in the Chartrons area of Bordeaux
1 pm: make a stop at the "Sources de Caudalie", worldwide known for its vinotherapy spa and grape skincare products
2 pm: lunch (not included)
4 pm: guided visit of the "Château de la Brède", or wine-tasting visit in a Pessac-Léognan "Grand Cru Classé" Château*
5:30 pm:  arrival in Bordeaux

*Château: Carbonnieux, Olivier... according to availability
 
Practical information
Open to anybody over 21 years of age holding a European Union Driving Licence or an equivalent international licence for more than a year. Young people under 21 and children over 15 kilos (33 lbs) are allowed as passengers. Under 18 are not authorized to taste wine. You must be able to drive a vehicle with a manual gearbox. Tall people of more than 6'1/4 (1,90m) may experience driving difficulties. A bank card pre-authorisation of 800€ per vehicle, not debited, will be required on-site as a deposit.
 
Included
  • 7h vehicle rental
  • Tablet-based multimedia guide
  • Fuel
  • Insurance
Not Included
  • Lunch
  • Pick-up and drop-off
Group-size:
2 to 10 people
Rates
Per
Price
Person
$
115
35
Children
Per
Price
Child
$
86
22
Timing
Dates
Start Time
Daily10:30 AM
Duration
7 H
More Info
Cancellation Policy
Standard
  • Cancellations made 2 days before will be fully refunded.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
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Overall Experience
Tastings Nearby
Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France
Duration:
5 Days
 (1)
Join us as we enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and taste some of the world’s famed chateaux on a Luxury Wine Tour in Bordeaux, ideal for wine fanatics. You will enjoy VIP ... moretastings of Premier Cru Chateaux as you savor Michelin star cuisine!

Trip Highlights:

You will enjoy four nights stay in a deluxe 5-star hotel in the center of Bordeaux city, with access to breakfasts and spa.

You will enjoy a private wine with an English-speaking driver guide in the Medoc vineyards. You will tour the prestigious Chateaux in Margaux and Pauillac. You will have your Lunch with accompanying wines in a vineyard restaurant.

On the second day in the vineyards, you will visit the reputable Chateau Petit Village in Pomerol located to the right bank. In the afternoon, you will tour the Premier Grand Cru Classé Chateau Angelus.

You will enjoy a superb three-course lunch with wines paired by the Sommelier in a two-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of St Emilion.

On the final day in the vineyards, you will visit the world-famous Chateau d’Yquem estate. You will enjoy lunch as you admire the Sauternes vineyards with wines. Your final trip and tasting will be at the First Growth Château Haut-Brion estate, set in Graves.

You will tour the La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, renowned as the world of wine.

Itinerary

Day 1:
You will fly from Paris or London to Bordeaux, upon arrival, you will relax with private transfers from Bordeaux airport. Later on, you will unwind in a marvelous 5-star spa hotel in the heart of Bordeaux facing the Grand Theatre and set only a stone’s throw from all the restaurants and bars. You will spend the afternoon relaxing in the state of the art spa, or perhaps on the rooftop terrace. You will have time to enjoy the evening as you explore Bordeaux, we can happily look after the reservations for you. We will supply you with our favorite spots.

Day 2:
You will meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel and enjoy a private wine experience in the Medoc vineyards, located on the left bank. You will tour the prestigious Chateaux in Margaux and in Pauillac. You will enjoy your lunch with accompanying wines served in a vineyard restaurant. You may opt to upgrade to a VIP lunch at a Grand Cru Chateau for £400per person. In the afternoon, your driver guide will chauffeur you back to the hotel.

Day 3:
This is your second day in the vineyards and is dedicated to St Emilion and Pomerol. You will meet with your English-speaking driver guide after breakfast. You will be chauffeured to the right bank, famous for its fruity silky and merlot blends. In the morning, you will visit the illustrious Chateau Petit Village set on the terroir of the Pomerol plateau. You will enjoy lunch paired with wine in a two-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of the UNESCO gothic wine village of St Emilion. In the afternoon, you will explore the Premier Grand Cru Classé Chateau Angelus renowned for its ringing bells. Later in the afternoon, you will be chauffeured by your driver guide to Bordeaux city.

Day 4:
This is your final day in the vineyards, you will return to the left bank exploring the Graves region, popular for its white wines and exceptionally famous for its dessert wines in the little appellation of Sauternes. Your guide will take you to the famed Chateau d’Yquem, ranked as a First Growth estate, and which sells some of the most extravagant white wines in the world. You will enjoy your lunch as you admire the Sauternes vineyards with wines carefully selected by the Sommelier. You will make your final tour and wine tasting at the First Growth Château Haut-Brion estate, set in Graves. Later in the afternoon, you will be chauffeured by your driver guide to Bordeaux city for your final evening.

Day 5:
This is your last day to explore the magnificent Bordeaux, which boasts over 350 historical monuments. You will easily traverse this UNESCO World Heritage site which so beloved, and remarkable. You will tour La Cité du Vin, the world of wine in Bordeaux. You will embark on an adventure to learn the civilizations and cultures of wine, where wine is brought to life through an immersive, sensorial technique, all set within a suggestive architectural design. The excursion also takes you to La Cité du Vin’s Belvedere, where you will get a chance to enjoy a 360° view of Bordeaux as you taste a glass of world wine. You will relax with private chauffeurs to the airport for your flight home.
$
3,400
-
$
4,700
/ Person
Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France
Duration:
6 Days
The term Bordeaux refers not only to the region and its capital city but also to wines produced from this area. The region is the birthplace of the first known Cabernet Sauvignon and ... moreMerlot vines and stretches from Soulac-sur-Mer and the Médoc in the north to the vineyards of Graves and Cerons in the south. Approximately 20,000 producers farm around 250,000 acres of vines, producing approximately 850 million bottles of wine each year! Around 200 years ago, the city of Bordeaux was dubbed “little Paris” due to its distinguished 17th-century architecture and more recently has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Most wines from the region are red blends, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot the grape mainstays but also including Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Bordeaux also makes white and sweet dessert wines, often from the villages of Sauternes and Barsac.

On this tour, we’ll taste a wide range of Bordeaux wines from both the Left and Right Banks. We’ll visit several quaint, ancient villages within the region, including Paulliac, Cap Ferret, and Saint-Emilion, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll explore many breathtaking winery estates, several with quite prestigious pedigrees. We’ll venture into various wine caves with incredible histories, stores of outstanding wine, and even delicious cheeses! We’ll also climb Europe’s tallest sand dune to take in the stunning views of the Arcachon Bay (don’t worry it isn’t too strenuous of a hike!). And to round things out, we’ll add to our wine knowledge by visiting a world-class interactive wine museum, La Cite du Vin.

By the end of your vacation, you’ll have a well-balanced perspective of what Bordeaux is all about!

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 
Welcome to the wine capital of France! Your guide will meet you in the lobby of our host hotel at 1:30 PM for a quick introduction. You’ll then head out for a walking tour of the lovely city of Bordeaux, taking in as many sights as possible, including Mirroir d’eau, Place de la Bourse, Rue Saint Pierre, Rue Saint Catherine, La Grande Cloche, and Marché des Capucins. We will end our walk with a sweet treat – a stop at one of Bordeaux’s delectable chocolatiers, Mademoiselle de Margaux.

We then make our way to Le Bar à Vin, located on the ground floor of the l’Ecole du Vin (Bordeaux Wine School). This delightful wine bar serves a large variety of wines to taste by the glass and offers a wonderful stained glass mural filled atmosphere, making it a perfect setting for further introductions to our tour mates and itinerary, as well as an official welcome toast! Once we’ve gotten to know each other a little better, we will set out for dinner at La Brasserie Bordelaise for a classic Sud-Ouest (South West France) meal.

DAY 2 
After breakfast at the hotel, we will make our way to the Left Bank of Bordeaux to Médoc. Our first stop will have you believe that we’ve stumbled upon a fairy tale as we will be exploring the castle of Chateau Pichon Baron Longueville. Our visit will take us into the cellars underneath the impeccably manicured lawn and finish with a tasting of one of their unreleased wines.

For lunch, we’ll head into the town of Pauillac to a quaint little restaurant along the River Gironde, partaking in the local seafood. Once we’ve eaten our fill, we will set off for another engaging tour and tasting at one of the region’s historic wineries.

We’ll then return to Bordeaux where you’ll have time to relax and explore on your own. That evening, we’ll reconvene in our hotel’s lobby and walk to Baud et Millet for dinner – a cheese lover’s paradise! They have their own cheese-aging cave where you can go in and help yourself to over 100 different cheeses from all over France. You also have the opportunity to pair regional wines with the cheese of your choice. C’est magnifique!

DAY 3 
Yesterday we explored the Left Bank of Bordeaux, today we’ll explore the Right Bank! We begin with a tour and tasting at Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, a Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé. It was once cultivated by an order of monks and even has an extensive network of underground limestone caves.

Once we’ve tasted a few of their well-known Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon blends, we’ll depart for the village of Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the celebrated center of Left Bank wine production. This picturesque village dates back to ancient times with its unique Romanesque architecture and ruins scattered amongst the narrow and steep streets. We’ll take a walking tour of this charming village to learn about its history in detail.

You will then have free time to explore and grab lunch on your own at one of the many quaint cafes. We’ll meet back up and head to the village’s namesake monolithic church where we’ll learn about the story of Monk Emilion, the carving of the monolithic underground church, and the fascinating catacombs. Once back above ground, we will drive back to Bordeaux where we will engage in a cooking class and dinner at the fun and funky, Le Chien de Pavlov.

DAY4
Today we explore the wine region of Graves and Sauternes, a larger region than Medoc but producing only about half the amount of wine. We start with a tour and tasting at Château Haut Bailly, a Cru Classé Graves in 1953 set in a gorgeous 19th-century chateau. Due to the surrounding gravely fossil soil, there is more of a mineral taste to their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blends.

After, we set off for Sauternes and stop for a hearty lunch along the way at an adorably cozy restaurant where meals are cooked over an open fire. We then continue on our way to the stunning estate of Château Suduiraut, formerly Formerly Cru du Roy. The estate encompasses 200 hectares of land of which 98 hectares are vineyard – 90% of their grapes are Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. The Chateau’s gardens were designed by Le Nôtre who designed gardens for Louis XIV. After our exploration of the estate, we will set out to explore their 1855 Premiere Cru Classé wines. This evening, you will have a chance to further explore the city of Bordeaux and have dinner on your own.

DAY 5 
We are off to the seaside this morning and depart for the Arcachon Bay after breakfast. When we arrive, we’ll set out to explore the Dune du Pilat. It is Europe’s tallest sand dune standing at 110 meters above sea level, providing spectacular panoramic views of the bay.

After a little exercise, we will head down to have lunch on your own in Cap Ferret, the oyster capital of France. Cap Ferret is a skinny, 11-mile-long line of sand bordered to the east by the waters of Arcachon Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to the west – a perfect oyster haven.

We return to Bordeaux in the early afternoon and have the option to walk to a local cognac or canelé shop. Tonight we feast at La Belle Époque, a superb quayside restaurant. Formerly the Nantes Hotel, the restaurant has maintained the exquisite decor that was designed by Amedee de Caranza at the end of the 19th century – making it a grand setting for our farewell dinner.

DAY 6
On our last day of the tour, we take the tram to Bordeaux’s world-class interactive wine museum, La Cité du Vin. A fun way to cap off the trip, we’ll learn about the world of wine – from history, viticulture, producers, and Bordeaux in general.

The museum is visually and architecturally spectacular both inside and out – the building itself is built to resemble “the swirls in a wine glass”! It offers hands-on, hi-tech exhibits where you are encouraged to use all five of your senses. To top things off, we’ll have a world wine tasting on the eighth floor while taking in the 360-degree view of Bordeaux.

After we’ve soaked up some wine knowledge, we’ll head back to our hotel to check out and say our goodbyes.

Tour Accommodations

Nights 1 – 5: Located in the heart of the 18th-century center of Bordeaux, the Hotel de Normandie Bordeaux is perfectly situated near restaurants, bars, shops, and sightseeing attractions. Its front windows overlook the beautiful Place de Quinconces, and it is only a two-minute walk from the Grand Théâtre and five minutes from the Garonne river. You’ll enjoy a quiet and pleasant stay with comfortable rooms and excellent hotel staff.

Please note: Hotels are subject to availability. If the listed hotel is not available at the time of the tour, a hotel that is equal or better to the original will be secured.
$
3,850
/ Person
Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France
Duration:
6 Days
Discover the quintessential food, wine and culture of France when you visit Bordeaux, the world’s most famous wine region. This prolific region, the largest in France, boasts nearly ... more8,000 wine growing estates. Each estate is appreciated for its own distinctive variety of wine. There are well over 10,000 different wines produced each vintage.

Discover the port city of Bordeaux and you’ll find a city rich in history and culture. This elegant gem in the southwest of France is renowned for it’s wine, to be sure, but there’s so much more for you to discover. Beautiful Bordeaux, with its stunning architecture, sprawling squares and intricately sculpted fountains, will capture your heart.

Food and wine are practically synonymous with French life and life in Bordeaux is an epicure’s delight. As you discover Bordeaux you’ll learn the heart and soul of the region by sampling the many delectable foods and luscious wines produced here.

Bordeaux is the most classified wine region in all the world and as you discover the distinctions of the classifications you’re knowledge of wine will develop-along with your palate. Come stroll the streets of St. Emilion, enjoy a glass of white wine while indulging in oysters so fresh they were just plucked from the sea. Discover the night-life of the city of Bordeaux, visit an ancient underground cellar. Embark on a truly French diversion and take a leisurely scenic drive through the French countryside, stopping for a picnic along the way as you relax in the sunshine and gaze out upon the legendary vineyards of this noble wine region.

While on your trip of a lifetime, you’ll visit some of the most prestigious estates along with those hidden gems-the lesser known wine making estates. As their guest you’ll be lavished with hospitality. At a vintage tasting you’ll sample rare and highly sought-after wines. You’ll discover what the skilled winemakers of this renown region know about toasting barrels in order to create a flavor unique to certain wines. You’ll even sample some of the wines straight from the barrel.

We feel certain you will come away enlightened, enriched and enchanted when you discover Bordeaux.

Accommodations:
Your home while in Bordeaux is a privately-owned 18th century mansion. The proprietors of this richly-appointed home are a family of established vintners. Your accommodations are situated right in the heart of Bordeaux.

The 6 bedroom home surrounds you in easy elegance. You’re sure to be delighted with your splendid accommodations. All rooms offer plenty of space to relax and feature en-suite bathrooms. Additional accoutrements include a flat screen TV, complimentary bottled water, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi.

While in residence we’ll be privy to a private wine-tasting in the cellar of this stately manor where we’ll discover the legendary wines of Bordeaux. The well-stocked kitchen is open to you 24 hours a day and you’re welcome to make this home your own as you discover Bordeaux. Bicycles are also at your disposal should you seek to venture out and explore your surroundings on your own. 

Our intimate tour of Bordeaux brings together the very best Bordeaux has to offer-her luscious wines, exquisite culinary delights, breathtaking vistas and the elegant and uniquely-French charm that is the Bordeaux region of France.

Itinerary 2018

Day 1: Arrival. Check in, Introduction to Bordeaux wines, Dinner.

Day 2: Medoc wine tour, 3 Chateaux visits, French Picnic in a Chateau, night tour

Day 3: St. Emilion 2 Chateau visit and tasting, lunch, Village tour, Private Vintage Wine Tasting. 

Day 4: Graves, Sauternes 3 Chateaux visits and tasting, lunch. 

Day 5: Cap Ferret, Oyster farm visit and Tasting, cooking class.

Day 6: Departure.

Day 1: Arrival in Bordeaux. Afternoon Introduction to Bordeaux Wines, Dinner 
Plan your trip so that you arrive in the morning, early enough to enjoy the delightful Sunday market in Bordeaux. Be advised this one-of-a-kind opportunity is only open until 4pm. 

The market offers the perfect beginning to your week of discovering the celebrated wines and sumptuous foods of this beautiful region. Dine on fresh oysters and a glass of white wine as you sit along the river and prepare to discover Bordeaux.

At 5:30 we’ll gather for an introduction to the wines of Bordeaux. Here you’ll learn about the classification system of Bordeaux as we taste these exquisite wines. 

After our introductory wine tasting we’ll stroll together for a group dinner at a local bordelaise bistro.

Day 2: Medoc 3 Winery Visits, French Picnic in the Vineyards, Bordeaux by Night 
Awaken to the beauty of southwestern France and get ready for a full day of discovery. We’ll uncover the secrets of the world famous wines of the Bordeaux region by embarking on a one of a kind journey along the Routes des Chateaux, in the Medoc region of Bordeaux. The Routes is dotted with renowned vineyards and historic castles, and there is no other wine route anywhere that boasts as many legendary and famous vineyards. You’re sure to recognize the names of these prestigious Grand cru wines. We’ll visit 3 wine estates of esteemed reputation. 

There’s no better way to experience the sheer beauty of this historic wine region than by enjoying a simply magnificent picnic lunch while gazing out upon the vineyards which are the birthplace of these exquisite wines. Our hosts are the owners of vineyards and adjacent chateau. Your French picnic will of course be accompanied by the estate wines produced here.

We’ll return to our accommodations in Bordeaux in the early evening to freshen up and prepare for another unique experience as we discover Bordeaux by night. We’ll enjoy a 2 hour walk-about as we observe this amazing port city in a whole new “light”. At night the city comes alive and her stunning architecture shines. The sprawling squares and beautifully sculpted fountains are lively places to meet and greet for locals and visitors alike.

Day 3: St. Emilion village, Chateaux visits and tasting, Private vintage wine tasting
This morning will find us journeying to Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Our first visit will be to a Premier Grand Cru Classé in St. Emilion. This property is located on the impressive limestone plateau of St. Emilion. Deep beneath the vines laid underground caves filled with bottles of what some consider being the very best Bordeaux wines. We’ll taste 3 of these exquisite wines, including an older vintage 2001. Next we’ll be on our way to visit one of the oldest properties in Bordeaux. This family owned property is still making wine, after 14 generations of vintners from the same family. Rare tulips and orchids dating back to Roman times can be found blooming naturally amongthe vines. You’ll surely be transported back in time when you look out upon the ancient grounds. A rare bottle of wine was found under the floor of the family’s private cellar. The wine dates back to 1750! We will be privy to a vertical tasting different vintages and to be hosted for lunch by the family. 

After lunch we will visit the village of St Emilion. This medieval village is listed as a Unesco heritage site and provides a wonderful opportunity to wander and discover plenty of local French culture as well as history. 

In the early evening we’ll enjoy a coveted and rare opportunity to sample the different vintages of Bordeaux wines. Many of these wines are not accessible to the general population. Either expense of availability precludes many an oenophile from experiencing these luscious wines. 

Upon return to Bordeaux you have the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 4: Graves, Sauternes Chateau Visits, Rotisserie Style Lunch Over vine Cuttings 
Our fourth day is a full one as we begin with a trip south of the city where we’ll visit some of the top classified red and white estates in Graves and Sauternes. We’ll start with a private chateau in Graves where the hospitable owners welcome us, as dear friends, into their home. There we will get to know our friendly hosts and enjoy a wine tasting as well as lunch. This Graves chateau is rich in history and lore which the family will proudly share with their new friends.

You’ll find out how the soil, a gravelly variety, contributes to the distinctive flavors of the grapes, and ultimately the wine. The variety of wines produced here is wide-ranging; dry whites, soft reds, and Cerons, a sweet wine.

We’ll lunch on your choice of duck breast or steak, prepared rotisserie style over vine cuttings. The vine cuttings impart a deliciously unique flavor that’s like no other you’re likely to have tasted.

After such an outstanding lunch we’ll visit a grand Sauternes chateau which is classified, yet still family-owned. Our visit will surely open a whole new world of white wines for you to discover. The wines of Sauternes are among the most palate-pleasant sweet wines in the world. Though highly desirable, Sauterne wines are relatively undiscovered. They will provide us with a sweet ending to our Bordeaux wine tasting tours.

Your evening will be free so that you may once again soak up Bordeaux at night. Discover more of what the city has to offer, enjoy a glass of wine with the locals, or simply take in the ambience from your place in one of the city’s beloved squares.

Day 5: The Coast of Bordeaux - Cap Ferret, Oyster Farm, Cooking class 
The sea is calling to us and today we answer as our travels take us to the Atlantic coast to discover the secluded seaside town of Cap Ferret. Characterized by the heady scent of pine trees and miles of soft sandy beach the biggest draw for locals and their guests would be the oysters. We’ll spend time at a family-run oyster farm where we’ll learn about the traditional French methods of oyster cultivation. We’ll enjoy a taste as we sample the freshest of oysters and sip a lovely white wine.

After our oyster experience you’ll have time on your own to explore France’s sleepy little coastal gem of a beach town before we return to Bordeaux.

We will return to Bordeaux for a cooking class. You’re sure to return to your home with so many stories to tell, fond memories to reflect upon and discoveries made during your one-of-a-kind week in Bordeaux.

Day 6 : Departure 
Depart home or consult with us if you wish to explore another destination.