I was wondering if anyone is interested in visiting some chateaux after the tour. Maybe we can go as a group as some of the chateaux have special group rate and we can share a ride, etc. Here is a list of some of the chateaux I am thinking of visiting: (Some of the info is taken from Decanter Bordeaux 2012 issue)
1. Ch Pichon Baron (Pauillac) for 60 euro and a min of 10, visitors can compare three mystical vintages: 1990, 2000 and 2010, etc. Special lunch, dinner menu also available.
2. Ch Gruaud Larose (St-Julien) detailed vineyard and cellar tours, lasting for up to two hours. Tasting options range from 15 to 108.
3. Ch La Mission Haut-Brion. Haut-Brion is closed for renovations, but at La Mission, we can taste both wines and touring around the chateau. Just outside the city. Easy access.
4. Ch Haut Smith Lafitte, 30 minutes away from Haut Brion. From private tour to interactive tour with their maitre de chai.
Let me know if I miss any important chateaux that are visitor friendly. Thanks and you guys have a nice weekend!
PS Lafite turned down my reservation as they are having renos in March and they are not sure when it will be done.
Monday, May 20th (Light schedule today as it’s public holiday in France)
11:00 am Private tour of Château La Mission Haut-Brion, Cost: Free (Note: Haut-Brion is closed for renovation, but the wine will be available for tasting along with the ones from La Mission.)
1:00 pm Lunch at La Table du Lavoir at Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Note: after lunch, we can check out the art sculptures throughout the property, visit the gift shop or even have a spa session at Sources de Caudalie, the world's first Vinotherapy spa, just an idea.)
4:30 pm Classic tour at Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Cost: 8.5€ (Note: the only tour available that day, two wines for tasting)
Transportation: La Mission is just outside the city, cab or maybe rental car.
Tuesday, May 21st
8:30 am (70 - 90 mins) Visit of Millesima Cellar and “1998 Right Bank Horizontal Wine Tasting” (Chx Conseillante, La Gaffelière and Pavie Macquin)
11:00 am (1 hr) Château Pichon-Longueville, tour and tasting of 3 wines, cost: free
1:00 pm (tentative) Lunch at Café Lavinal, Pauillac (next to Lynch-Bages)
2:00 pm (90 mins) Château Lynch-Bages, tour and “Esprit de Lynch-Bages” tasting of 5 wines from Cazes family, cost: 35€
4:00 pm (120 mins) Château Gruaud-Larose “The White Path” tour, walking around the vineyard, cellars and tasting of 2 wines, cost: 15€
Transportation: rental car
Let me know if you would like to join me so that I can notify the chateaux about the changes. We can share the gas, cab fare, but most importantly, the chateaux will open more and better stuff for tasting, like doing a vertical or older vintages if we have a bigger group, and it's more economical for me too.
PS the brochures of Millesima and Gruaud-Larose are too big to upload. I'll send them to you if you email me.
Last Edit: 3 years 10 months ago by Felix Choi. Reason: Remove links to attachment
Hope you had a great time on the Bordeaux study trip. I'm reading your itinerary for May 20th and it brings back great memories. I didn't get to visit La Mission Haut Brion so I would love to hear how it goes. I'm in the Burgundy study trip and then I'm headed to Bordeaux afterwards to attend VinExpo June 16-20th. If you have any must dine places, not to be missed sight things to do, things you loved, or just tips in general I would love to hear them.
Sorry it took me so long to reply. Hope all is well. La Mission is stunning, the church, the garden, the cellar, etc. I wish I could say the same thing about their wine. We tried the 07. It's good for sure, but it didn't wow me. It's very understated. Well, the vintage might have something to do with it. I much prefer Haut-Brion 07, which we got to taste as well. But still I find it difficult to justify the price. Maybe I was expecting too much. But both Chateaux are very close to the city and the tasting and the tour is free! However, I am more impressed with Haut Smith Lafitte. We booked the basic tasting tour because it's the only thing available on the day we visited. We tasted the 07 and the white from 2010. IMHO the red tastes better than the HB and La Mission. Check out their website. They have some interesting tours too, like the one that you get to meet the cellar master:
And the restaurant, La Table du Lavoir is excellent. The fish I ordered is perfectly cooked. Ken and I polished off a bottle of 2010 les Haut de Smith. The service is excellent. It was one of my best meals of the entire trip. You can make a reservation here:
Make sure you check out Max Bordeaux. (14 Cours de l'Intendance, two blocks from the Apple store along the tramway) You can taste the first growths from Enomatic machines. Let me know which one is your favourite. Mine definitely is the 2003 Leoville Barton.
Do you have a smartphone? There is a free app from the tourist office