Whether you’re a budding Bordeaux oenologist or just a lover of good wine, Bordeaux Chateaux’s route through the terroirs of Medoc is for you. Embark on a quest of the senses, discovering the prestige of Grand Cru Classé wines and the stunning architecture of the chateaux that produce them. Read on to learn what makes the Medoc region special, and which Medoc winemakers will open their doors to you on a Bordeaux Chateaux tour.
Location, location, location
Sitting between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary, Medoc is now known as one of the world’s best spots for vineyard tourism. The sightseeing route, located in the heart of the Bordeaux winemaking region, will unroll its tapestry of history and architecture before your eyes.
The diverse countryside of Medoc
The Medoc region is split into three parts: Bas-Médoc (Lower Medoc), Haut-Médoc (Upper Medoc), and the Landes. The upper and lower terroirs of Medoc proper span the length of the estuary, while the Landes stretch up to the ocean.
The chateaux of Medoc start at Soulac-sur-Mer, on the edge of the Atlantic, and follow the course of the Garonne river inland. The curious wine-lover has only to keep the riverbank in sight to find Saint Estèphe, the town of Pauillac, Margaux and finally the city of Bordeaux itself.
The rich grapes of Medoc grow between forests, beaches, and little villages all through the region. The wines they produce include many Grands Crus Classés as well as Crus Bourgeois. While travelling the famous route, you’ll see how the charming South-West countryside complements the prestigious architecture of the winemaking estates. Traditional white stone buildings and acres of Bordeaux vines will delight your senses long before the wine tasting even begins.
The unique flavours of Medoc
The climate and geology of Medoc produce unique qualities in their grapes, which are transposed into sophisticated flavours of wine. The Medoc area enjoys a temperate oceanic climate, at once gentle and humid. The forest of the Landes region protects the vines from the harsh winds of the Atlantic. The vapours emerging from the Atlantic ocean and the Gironde estuary regulate the temperature in Medoc, assuring a consistent climate all year.
Another particularity of the Medoc region is the soil composition. The sub-soils are covered with calcium formations, clay, and sand, with thick strata of gravel from the Pyrenees and the Central mountain range adding to the mix. These elements make the soil permeable and well-draining.
The quality of the soil along with the temperate climate make the Medoc region ideal for grape production.
The uniqueness of Medoc wine is particularly linked to pebbly quartz soil and the bank gravel of the Garonne.
Chateau Haut-Bages Libéral, an Pauillac estate that was given the Grand Cru Classé title in 1855, is exemplary of this particular taste. Its vines spread over 30 hectares of Medoc land sown with calcium-clay bank gravel. The mineral character from this unique soil can be tasted in the flavour of the wine.
The appellations of Medoc
Medoc’s winemaking region, spreading over almost 80 kilometres, is made up of eight appellations: Médoc, Margaux, Haut Médoc, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Moulis-en-Médoc, Saint-Julien, and Listrac-Médoc.
The most prestigious Grands Crus Classés de Bordeaux—classified as such in 1855—are to be found in Medoc. These famous wines are all classified under AOC/AOP European standards. Medoc estates also grow Crus Bourgeois and Crus Artisans wines. Among the range of Medoc flavours, there is a wine for every palate.
The Grand Cru Classé estates of Medoc are just one part of its exceptional architectural heritage. Other notable sites include Fort Medoc, which is part of a UNESCO world heritage site along with the fortifications designed by the famous engineer Vauban; more than five hundred 19th-century villas; Cordouan au Verdon-sur-Mer, the oldest lighthouse in Europe, dating to the 16th century; and the Basilique Notre-Dame-De-La-Fin-Des-Terres, in Soulac-sur-Mer, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site and an ancient site along the pilgrimage route of the Camino of Saint James.
Beyond the majestic historical monuments, Medoc is set apart by the remarkable winemaking estates that colour its landscape. Among them are the chateau Mouton Rothschild, situated close to the town of Pauillac in Upper Medoc; the chateau Phélan Ségur; and the Saint-Estèphe “maison du vin”.
Reserve your tour of Medoc’s most beautiful chateaux
To really get to know Medoc and its great wines, reserve your tour with Bordeaux Chateaux for an unforgettable experience on board a vintage 2CV, accompanied by our expert guide. We offer a customised circuit of the area, with visits to multiple Bordeaux chateaux, to best discover the history and oenology of the area.
Tour and visit of Medoc’s chateaux
For your journey around Medoc, you’ll be transported by our guide, Laurent, who will accompany you throughout your journey to the 3 or 4 Medoc chateaux that you select. Cultural knowledge is just around the corner—the owners or representatives of each chateau will welcome you and tell you about the history and adventures of their estates as well as their traditional production methods passed down through the generations. What better way to become an expert in the wines of Medoc? You will, of course, have the opportunity to try their most remarkable wines and train your palate.
Not-to-miss in Medoc
Our guide will show you around a selection of the unmissable chateaux of Medoc. Each has its own style of architecture, its own flavours, and its own charm.
The proposed route takes you first to discover the château Pichon Baron, one of the oldest wineries of Bordeaux. This estate is known for its technological prowess. Next, you’ll visit the château Prieuré Lichine, which holds the AOC classification Fourth Grand Cru Classé. This estate produces 300 000 bottles a year. The chateau Bages Libéral will open its doors to you as you learn about its special calcium-clay soil. Lastly, the chateau Pedesclaux, which is Grand Cru Classé and uses organic methods.
If you’re on the hunt for a special bottle to make your cellar collection stand out, you’ll have the opportunity to shop in the lovely Medoc boutiques along the way, which offer wines and other local products.
Our Medoc chateaux
Fees include visits and tastings in the morning and afternoon, as well as transport to a restaurant for Medoc trips. Foresee a picnic lunch in case of menu issues. Return trip to Bordeaux around 16:00.
Call 07 56 87 33 43