A Guide to the Bordeaux region, France, for wine enthusiasts and not only- part 1
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Many things can be seen and experienced in the Bordeaux area, not just the wine tasting. The possibilities are endless and even a well-planned week like ours may not be enough to see everything interesting.
This guide gives tips not only for wineries, but also restaurants, guest houses and other worth visiting places. It mainly includes the region of Bergerac and Bordeaux, but also other towns and castles a short distance away.
I am saving the details of the Covid-19 requirements because a lot depends on the time and place of residence. Just follow the latest information on the subject. Interestingly, Lufthansa still requires a mask on board, and official information states that even for transit through Germany you need a certificate, but nowhere did they ask for one.
Chateau or winery
Chateau means castle, but often also means a larger house with a winery attached to it.
A place can be called a chateau because there is a very old fortress, an old castle and a winery. But a chateau can also be called a place where wine is produced without a castle. So, if you are planning a chateau for historical tourism, there may be no wine, if you choose a chateau for wine tasting, it may not have historical significance, and it may combine both, and even the possibility of staying.
I bring to your attention ideas for visiting the chateau with a different focus.
Chateau with wine, history, accommodation and more.
First of all, I make a reservation that before going to a chateau, you need an appointment by phone, e-mail or in any way indicated on its website.
There are not always people available for visiting groups. When they are in a campaign, all available staff may be involved in harvesting, winemaking or something else. Separately, there may be something like a schedule for visits so that not many people crowd.
Chateau de la Riviere in the Fronsac Appellation offers wine, history and accommodation. The presentation for visitors is very good, you enter the dark corridors dug into the limestone rocks. There you can see bottles the size of Nebuchadnezzar, old and dusty, a large knight’s table, also for tastings, huge wine boxes, where the bottles stand for aging.
Another place of this type is Chateau Leognan in Pessac-Leognan, but you also have a gourmet experience there, through their fine dining restaurant. The chateau dates from the 17th century. It was abandoned for a long time, but at the beginning of the 21st century the current owners completely renovated it, as well as the chapel to it. It is recently available for accommodation. Its vineyards were originally sown and managed by Domains de Chevalier, which are Graves Grand Cru certified. The place is wonderful for rest, walk, there is a very good restaurant. As you walk you enjoy the aromas of flowering shrubs, trees, chasing wild bunnies. The dog that greets you is meek and enjoys visitors. The tour also includes a tasting.
In Chateau Feely you can hear about the biodynamic way of production very interesting things, because that’s exactly how they make their wine. They tell how they struggled to save their vineyard in the beginning, as they switched to this method of production. It was accustomed to artificial support and left without it, it suffered. There was also a danger of root rot, but they successfully went through this difficult period. They pick and produce according to the lunar calendar. There is also an option for accommodation, so if you want to stay in nature, with a view of the vineyards, between which beautiful wild orchids are nestled, this is your place.
At Chateau des Vigiers you can stay luxuriously and play golf. Of course, there is also wine to drink, but they do not produce. They have a huge campus, where they have a spa with high-end cosmetics and swimming pools. On top of that, they have a Michelin restaurant. It has a smaller brother-bistro. Read more in the review about it.
Chateau with a story
Chateau de Puymartin tells the legend of the white lady. A scary story of adultery and murder. While the lord of the castle was at war, his beautiful wife did not remain faithful to him. When he returned and revealed this fact, he hanged his lover and imprisoned the beauty in the tallest tower for the rest of her life. She is called the White Lady. It is said that to this day her spirit wanders the corridors of the chateau and cannot find peace. The place is great for children and teen visitors. It gives children the opportunity to test their knowledge of ancient Greek mythology through an interesting quiz.
Chateau de Beynac has an old history, but also remarkable views from the hill on which it has climbed regally. We were late for the tour inside, but we admired the views it generously offers. You can see from the photos:
Chateau de Milandes is located close to Chateau de Beynac. In addition to preserving memories from very old times, it was also owned by Josephine Baker. It is quite possible that she inspired Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Faye Danway to adopt many children of different nationalities and backgrounds. In this mansion the world-famous singer-dancer, a complete entertainer from the famous cabaret Folies Bergere, raised 12 children, who sounded the chateau with laughter and filled her life with joy.
The new owners of the castle have tried to combine its medieval dignity and beauty with the expressiveness, passion and vitality of Josephine.
At certain hours there is also a show with birds of prey in the garden.
I continue telling about different types of chateau in the next part of this post.
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:
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.