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The wine of Saint-Emilion: our chateau list

Beautiful Saint-Emilion is a viticultural estate made up of 12 appellations, or protected winemaking regions. Each appellation is unique; from the world-renowned to the hidden gems, there’s one for every taste. Here are some of the appellations of Saint-Emilion, their locations, and their characteristics which bring such fame to the wine of the region.

The appellations and grape varieties of Saint-Emilion

The most famous Saint-Emilion grape varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are used to make red wines.

  • Merlot is a variety of grape well-adapted to the humid, chilly soil of the Saint-Emilion region. It’s the preferred grape of many estates in the area. The qualities of the grape create a bodied, balanced wine, with a fruity perfume that evokes blackberry and sour cherry.
  • Cabernet Franc is a delicate, elegant wine. It’s rich in tannins and in aroma.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon boasts spiced flavours and ages well due to its particular tannins.

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Appellations

Grand Cru wines are distinguished by rank, such as Grand Cru Classé, Premier Grand Cru Classé, or Premier Grand Cru Classé A. The Grand Cru classification began in 1855, and denotes excellent wines belonging to a certain terroir. In 2012, the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité as well as the French Department of Agriculture classified 82 chateaux, and the chateaux which received the prestigious title of Premiers Grand Crus Classés A were Château Cheval Blanc, Château Pavie, Château Ausone and Château Angélus.

Château La Dominique à Saint Emilion grand cru classé avec un chai dessiné par Jean Nouvel. Cela permet de sublimer l'ancien et le moderne en une vision audacieuse en saint

Other Saint-Emilion appellations

The communities of Montagne, Puisseguin, Saint-Georges, Castillon Lussac, and Francs are distinguished as “satellite appellations” of Saint-Emilion. These satellite wines are known for their robust, full-bodied notes. The grape varieties are identical to those planted in Saint-Emilion proper, with Merlot representing 70%, Cabernet Franc 20%, and Cabernet Sauvignon making up the last 10%. Malbec is becoming less popular in this region due to lack of quality.

Pomerol, the neighbouring terroir, is a unique and prestigious area, known as the hometown of Merlot. It’s a small area, but it’s known all around the world for its excellent Merlot.

The Libournais region boasts the controlled appellation Les-Lalande-de-Pomerol. The wines of this appellation are reds with notes of spices and red berries. What a dream for your taste buds!

Bordeaux sparkling wine is a recent appellation, created in 1990. This last category designates sparkling wines, particularly whites and rosés. It’s represented in Saint-Emilion by the Cloister of the Cordeliers. Bordeaux sparkling wines are diverse in flavour, ranging from brut to demi-sec all the way to a sweeter taste.

The town of Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion is a place where history, architecture, and terroir come together. Well known for its numerous chateaux and wine cellars, the town of Saint-Emilion is situated on 27km of land in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of Southern France. The town has many draws, first among them its winemaking reputation. The natural richness of Saint-Emilion soil has propelled its wines into stardom, with more Grand Cru classifications than not among their number.

The wine-growing region contains 8 towns in total: Saint-Émilion, Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens, Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse, Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, Saint-Pey-d’Armens, Vignonet, Saint-Hippolyte, Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, and Libourne.

The diverse soil behind the excellent wine

Like the strategic placement of its sister region, Medoc, Saint-Emilion’s excellence in flavour is due to the unique composition of the soil. One must not forget the celebrated Petrus wine, whose quality is directly caused by the geology of its estate; Petrus soil is composed of heavy clay.

Also notable is the Fombrauge estate, spanning 59 hectares of varied soil composition which affect the flavour and aroma of its wines. You can visit this site, crowned by a seventeenth-century monastery, on one of our chateau tours to Saint-Emilion!

Picturesque architecture

The architecture of the town of Saint-Emilion is unique, as in the centre of the town lies a medieval village. Tucked between the most prestigious vineyards of the Southwest, Saint-Emilion is a testament to both history and nature. It is well-known around and outside of France for its beauty and terroir.

Saint-Emilion is also famous for the number of separate winemaking estates situated in its immediate region. The precious heritage of the medieval village moves chronologically towards the many old chateaux which peek out above the vines. Each chateau has its own soil type and production style setting it apart from its neighbours. Many aspects of the winemaking process are still done in the old fashion, following the tradition of hundreds of years of viniculture in the area. These famous estates and beautiful buildings will open their doors to you with Bordeaux Chateaux!

photo de chateau soutard

Saint-Emilion’s fame

The prestigious red wines of Saint-Emilion are known the world over. Some of the most famous include Chateau Pavie, Château Beauséjour Duffau Lagarosse, Chateau Angélus and the wine Saint Emilion Cheval Blanc.

Enticed by the double draw of wine tastings and ancient architecture, visitors flock to the winemaking estates of Saint-Emilion every year. The owners of these estates are happy to share the history of their stunning buildings and tradition production. It’s an educational journey taken by families, friends, and above all lovers of good Bordeaux wine.

Oenological tourism and the beauty of the historic buildings and churches bring 1,200,000 excited visitors to Saint-Emilion each year.

Reserve your trip to the most beautiful chateaux of Saint-Emilion

Deux chevaux Marguerite et deux clientes devant le château Grand Corbin à saint Emilionn

Embark on a journey of sensation through this world-renowned area! Experience the unforgettable on board a vintage 2CV, winding through the terroir of Saint-Emilion. You’ll be accompanied by Bordeaux Chateaux’s guide, an expert in the history and oenology of the region you’ll discover during your personalized trip.

Bordeaux Châteaux offers a visit to the chateaux of Saint-Emilion to discover its cultural and oenological heritage.

Sightseeing and chateau visit in the Saint-Emilion region

On this made-to-measure journey, let yourself be transported into the world of wine by your guide Laurent. He’ll take you to the chateaux of the area and reveal the secrets of world-class winemaking. You’ll have the chance to taste the best wines offered by this famous region.

Not to be missed in Saint-Emilion

We propose a selection of exception chateaux in the region, including the magnificent Bordeaux-style mansion of Chateau Soutard and the remarkable architecture of Château La Dominique, which was one of the first estates to plant its vines in rows, and sits on the border of Pomerol.

Our Saint-Emilion Chateaux

Château Soutard
Découvrez un vignoble issu de la nuit des temps. Vous apprécierez cette jolie maison de maître bordelaise.
Château La Dominique
Découvrez le château La Dominique situé en bordure de Pomerol.
Château Fombrauge
Découvrez le château Fombrauge aménagé dans un monastère datant du XVIIème siècles.
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    Tous nos circuits

    Découvrez notre sélection de Circuits entre Saint Emilion, Pessac Léognan ou château Médoc et réservez vos dates pour une expérience inoubliable.

    Informations :

    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