A tour of the wine area of Libournais, Bordeaux
Updated: Aug 19
No country comes to mind as quickly as France does when talking about wine. Many famous wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay originated in France and their versions influenced a lot of wines abroad as well. France is known for a high amount of vintage variation due to its unstable climate. France can be divided into 11 major wine regions, one of them being the Bordeaux area, which is known as one of the most influential and famous wine regions in the world.
Introduction to the wines of Libournais
In the Bordeaux area, most producers specialize in the eponymous red blend, featuring Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet France. The white Bordeaux blend is usually made of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.
The Libournais Region, also known as Right Bank is famous for its Merlot-based wines. The best wines there can be found in Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Wines there deliver a bold cherry, tobacco, and chocolatey flavor.
This area does not only offer you amazing wines to drink but also a rather stunning backdrop for your tasting. Picturesque villages, vineyards as far as the eye can see, and countless restaurants offering fine French cuisine.
Discover Saint Emilion - the famous village of Libournais
Saint Emilion is worth a visit. In 1999 the city was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can stroll through the beautiful small alleys of the picturesque French town and enjoy a glass or two of their famous wines in one of the countless charming little winebars.
However, we found that the neighboring regions of Pomerol and Montagne-Saint-Emilion house equally refined wines at a much lower price point. The borders between these regions were drawn without respect to differences in the soil, so you can find a lot of wines that technically grew on similar soil without having to pay the price for the classification.
Best Chateaux for wine tasting in the Libournais area
Over the last two years, we have visited a couple of estates and did some wine tours, and I can especially recommend two of them. The Chateaux le Grand Verdus is a family estate and offers a broad variety of different wines to try. We were able to taste white, red as well as rose wines at the estate.
Furthermore, I got to try my first natural wine, which was made without adding conservatives to the blend. The tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable, and we were able to explore the winery in a private setting for a very affordable price.
Needless to say, you can buy the wines at an excellent price, much cheaper than in retail stores. Visiting France by car I would therefore strongly recommend.
Secondly, I can recommend a visit to another family-owned winery, the Vignobles Chatonnet estate. The tour takes you through grand gardens, a stunning mansion as well as wine cellars.
The tour is followed by a tasting, my favorite being their La Sergue wine. A day of wine tasting and strolling through historic villages are topped off best with a fancy dinner, I can especially recommend La Table de Catussou in Pomerol.