Known as the wine capital of Europe, the wines of Bordeaux continue to attract both domestic and international tourists. Indeed, the New York Times ranked Bordeaux as the second most visited wine destination worldwide this year. Not too shabby!
With major upgrades completed, several new wine-related attractions opening, and a gastronomic center dedicated to Bordeaux’s haute cuisine and terroir, it’s a safe bet that Bordeaux will be trending for a long time to come. Here are our suggestions for places where you can discover the wines of Bordeaux and the culture that surrounds them.
Bordeaux wine routes… plural
Numbers do not lie: With 65 appellations d’origine contrôlée, the Gironde is the largest wine-producing department in France. It’s not surprising, then, that there are not one, but six different wine routes through the region’s best vineyards.
More than 60 wine-themed guided tours in Bordeaux are offered by the Bordeaux Tourist Office in the high season, including a guided bus tour, an independent multi-day car trip, or an active stopover on a bicycle along the vineyards. Bordeaux Wine Trip’s blog also allows you to create your own itinerary based on your personal preferences for both flavor and destination.
The best day trips to discover Bordeaux wines
Some of the most popular Bordeaux wine itineraries include:
- Les Graves and Sauternes on the left bank of the Garonne (particularly popular with our women specialists, thanks to the Vinothérapie Spa at the prestigious Les Sources de Caudalie in Martillac).
- The 80 picturesque kilometers of the Médoc “Wines and Castles” trail.
- The vast “Tuscany of Bordeaux” in the region of the Entre-deux-Mers
- The medieval village of Saint-Émilion, whose vineyards are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Then there’s the maritime route between Blaye and Bourg, which overlooks the right bank of the estuary, and finally, the gateway to the vineyards… Bordeaux!
Bordeaux wine tour: Urban Wine Trail
Indeed, not to be outdone, Bordeaux offers a fun, interactive Bordeaux Wine Trail map of the city’s best wine bars. These oenological sanctuaries, chosen for their combination of local grape varieties and imports from the four corners of the globe, offer cozy terraces, Southwestern culinary specialties, and surprising wine lists.
And the backdrop? Bordeaux’s emblematic architectural heritage, a skillful blend of the ancient and the modern, from the 15th-century gates and the superbly preserved labyrinth of medieval streets to the spectacular Miroir d’Eau, the largest in the world, and the sumptuous classical theater and majestic 18th-century facades.
La Cité du Vin
The spectacular Cité du Vin, which overlooks the Garonne River and stands 55 meters tall, opened its doors in 2016 with much fanfare.
A true beacon of wine culture, so intimately linked to the region’s identity, this bold and modern place of discovery certainly made us want to come and discover it, offering a fully immersive sensory journey through 20 themed areas dedicated to the various aspects of wine. There are also three tasting rooms, workshops, a stunning permanent exhibition, a 600 m2 cellar, a tapas bar and a world wine bar.
Bordeaux is THE perfect destination for a memorable wine trip
The growing popularity of wine-themed river cruises and combined boat-bike-wine tours is unmistakable. These are two highly original ways of discovering Bordeaux’s heritage and art de vivre, which are sure to intrigue, fascinate and captivate visitors.
Whether it’s an initiation to wine or a return to basics for amateur oenologists, there’s no doubt that the Bordeaux region is a destination of choice for its many attractions.