A Guide to the Bordeaux region, France, for wine enthusiasts and not only- part 2
In the first part of this post, I talked about what a chateau is and gave a few examples of a chateau with gourmet experiences, staying options and historical significance. Now I concentrate on the wine tasting types of chateau, and I will also tell you how and where you can stay in Bergerac and of course where you can eat deliciously.
Wine tasting types of chateau
At Chateau Loudenne, Medoc Appelation, in addition to tasting wine, you can also have a picnic. The chateau has an old history. Also, it soon changed owners, and they decided to move to biodynamic production.
In addition to stainless steel vessels, they also use cement vessels. The grapes are not crushed, but under high temperature and increased pressure, the berries burst. One of the photos on Instagram shows the composition of the soil in the region. Limestone contributes a lot to the terror. It has also been used extensively for construction. The place has a beautiful view, combining vineyards and the Gironde estuary on the Garonne River. There is a great opportunity for a picnic on the beach. All you have to do is get a baguette and a Swiss Army knife, you will buy a jar of Folie gras and wine from the chateau, there is even aged white on sale. Impressive tides are observed on the shores of the estuary due to the proximity of the ocean. Literally in minutes the whole beach below us hid under water. We tasted 5-6 wines at the end of the visit in the chateau and then headed for the picnic.
Another place with wine tasting, but also an impressive presentation, suitable especially for beginner wine lovers is Chateau Lamothe Bergeron, also in Medoc. Its vineyards are HVE certified.
HVE stands for high environmental value, which means that the cultivation and production of wine is not organic, but maximally sustainable.
In addition to telling you about their winemaking, they give you a taste of grapes from the 3 main types that are grown there and make very interesting video presentations with 3D mapping. You can see here:
The tasting is in a nice modern hall, like the whole chateau, because its building has recently been completely renovated. We tasted wine from 3 harvests. The place is also suitable for a picnic, and you can buy a basket of products from the chateau itself.
Chateau Tour des Gendres, which you can also find under the name Domaine Albert de Conti is a typical example of a chateau dedicated to the production of wine, without actually having a castle on its territory.
For Guillaume, our very cool and friendly host in the chateau, and his brothers this year is very special. In addition to taking over the management of the winery from the older members of the family, they introduced new varieties, rather old, typical of the region, but forgotten and also changed the name to Domain Albert De Conti. They experiment hard. They made wine from 100% Muscadelle, which is otherwise present only in small quantities in the typical white wines of the region. Some of the wine will be aged in recently purchased clay pots. They made bold labels, a real work of art. In one of the photos on Instagram, you will notice a lady with a bottle in the background- it’s pet-nat.
Pet-nat as a term that comes from “pétillant naturel”—a French term that roughly translates to “naturally sparkling.” It is produced in the old champaign method, named also “methode ancestral” which is similar to the well-known current method but all the fermentations happens in one stage in the bottle, unlike Champaign, where you have 2 stages of fermentation and only the second one is in the bottle.
The production of the chateau is organic, you will see sown beans between the vines, which aims to deliver a sufficient amount of nitrogen to the soil. We tried 5-6 types of wine, if not more, because Guillaume liked us and wanted to show us more things from their production.
I end up with a Grand Cru chateau, class A- Cheteau Rochebelle in Saint-Emilion. And there you will see limestone corridors with low temperatures, where wine is stored, barriques, stone tables for tastings. It’s nice, but you only have 1 glass of wine for tasting at the end.
Accommodation and gourmet experiences in Bergerac- guest house, not a hotel
Especially in this region, a guest house is much more worthwhile than a hotel. The house offers a feeling of local coziness, color, history, while the hotel is more of a place to stay. Here it is worth absorbing culture and history from old houses.
In Bergerac we stayed at Le Colombier de Cyrano et Roxane. A nice colorful place in the historic center of the small town. An old house, slightly sloping to one side, I’m not kidding and inside the floors are even sloping. You can read more in the review about it.
Fine dining in Bergerac and the surrounding area
When you are in the area, each restaurant offers fine cuisine. There is a lot of competition between them and every chef tries to present his restaurant in the best way.
The restaurants we visited were selected together with local connoisseurs, who made some adjustments to the list we had prepared from reading on the Internet.
Some of the top-ranked restaurants on popular platforms have been removed from our list because the local French have tested them and their criteria for good service have not been met. Others we just didn’t have time to visit, so we had to apply cherry-picking, i.e. to choose only the best.
I will arrange the restaurants in chronological order and not on any other basis, because they are almost equivalent.
La Chartreuse de Bignac is a hotel and restaurant complex. It is located very close to Bergerac. A wonderful, rustic place in the nature. The restaurant is included in the Michelin guide. Read more about it in the review.
Le Saint Jacques restaurant is located in the heart of Bergerac. It is at a very short walk distance from the house we were staying in, Le Colombier. See in the review about it how the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com rated it.
Next to the covered market is La Table du Marche. Extraordinary! Everyone liked the dishes – adults and children! It is rare for children to like so much fine dining cuisine. The restaurant is included in the Michelin guide. See the rating given to it by the 5D Sensograph in the review.
We will continue our tour in Bergerac and Bordeaux region in the next part of this guide.
How to get to all these places?
Use the Google map by selecting the pin in the place you are interested in. Then click on the arrow and it will open a navigation map:
In this map, you can see where the restaurants are in and around Bergerac and the guest house, and accordingly use Google maps navigation.
How to book your stay?
You can book your stay right here. For your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you. Just enter the dates of your trip, then hit the Search button and voila.
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Do you ever wonder how some places differ so much from others in service, environment, as an overall experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. I constantly add to my collection reviews about those of them, which practice its principles, regardless of intentionally or accidentally. If you are curious to understand which they are, explore category The Experience Economy.