A Wine Lover's Guide to Visiting Bordeaux

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With harvest time approaching in Bordeaux, Sotheby’s wine specialist Frédéric Guyot du Repaire took some time out to write for The Modern Concierge’s #JetLife magazine for private jet firm Air Partner plc about some of the magnificent wine experiences available in the region. At around 90 minutes’ flight time from many European capitals, the beautiful French city is ideal for a same-day-return vineyard lunch, relaxing weekend or longer stay – but with thousands of producing vineyards it’s useful to have some inside knowledge in order to make the most of your time there. Click ahead to read about how you can experience the very best of Bordeaux.

This article originally featured in The Modern Concierge

 

A Wine Lover's Guide to Visiting Bordeaux

  • Château Mouton Rothschild, 1er Grand Cru Classé
    While other vintners have produced distinct logos to draw attention on crowded store shelves, the Chateau Mouton Rothschild label relies on its tradition and elite reputation as it is redesigned for every vintage. In 1924 Baron Philippe de Rothschild, commissioned the poster artist Jean Carlu to design the label to mark the first vintage bottled entirely at the chateau. He revived the art label with a victorious "V" by Philippe Jullian in 1945 to celebrate the end of the war. Since then, the chateau has commissioned work from a contemporary artist for each new vintage. Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Francis Bacon and more recently Lucien Freud and Jeff Koons contributed paintings. All original artworks are on display at the estate. A must see for wine and art lovers.

  • Château Cheval Blanc, 1er Grand Cru Classé A
    From the stark architectural contrast presented by its centuries-old château and hyper-modern winery, to its stellar Premiere Grand Cru Classé (A) offerings – one of only four châteaux to obtain this honour, Château Cheval Blanc is an estate that has reached the pinnacle of wine greatness. With a view to improving wine production at Château Cheval Blanc, owners Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère asked Christian de Portzamparc to design a new winery. In this vineyard shaped by man over the centuries, the architect envisioned a winery shaped like a belvedere projecting out from the château and opening onto the beautiful landscape.

  • Château Cos d’Estournel, Deuxième Grand Cru Classé
    Founded by Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel in the 18th century, Cos d'Estournel is a fantastical faux-Indian palace with pagoda-style turrets from which hang bells. The chais and the interiors have been recently completed by new contemporary buildings conceived by Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

  • La Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel
    Set in the heart of the Domaine de Cos d’Estournel, with its Grand Cru Classé Saint-Estèphe, La Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel offers a unique insider’s experience of vineyard living created by the home owner Michel Reybier (La Réserve Ramatuelle, Paris and Geneva). Made available in its entirety, it is a true refuge of understated luxury, allowing you to taste château life at first hand. To round off this unique experience, you can taste the chef’s cuisine matched with the property’s superb wines, which enhance the local produce. During your stay, the house is yours: you are the only guests.

  • Les Belles Perdrix de Château Troplong-Mondot
    The picturesque medieval town of St Emilion is the centre of a famous winemaking area, and Les Belles Perdrix de Troplong Mondot is a blissful luxury retreat, encircled by vineyards and horse-ploughed fields. Set in the vineyards, with a beautiful terrace overlooking the hillside, its renowned Michelin restaurant includes local specialities with a perfectly matched wine menu. At the helm is a highly skilled chef, who offers an artful new take on local gastronomy - food that is perfectly suited to the wines from the estate.

  • La Grande Maison
    A 5-star hotel located in Bordeaux, La Grande Maison is set in a 19th-century classic private mansion surrounded by a landscaped garden. Inside, it oozes opulence and boudoir-chic, offering a gastronomic restaurant as well as a unique wine cellar.

  • Cap Ferret
    For a more secluded, laid-back and authentic experience, one hour from Bordeaux is Cap Ferret. Its landscape and spirit have more in common with salty Cape Cod than Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera.

  • Chez Hortense
    Right on the southern tip of the cape is one of those rare dreams that come true. In an old chalet, the interior looks like it has not been changed since the Third Republic — and the menu is equally timeless. An unmissable institution in Cap-Ferret. Order the sausage meat mussels with fries.

  • La Corniche
    On the other side of the peninsula, this ravishing boutique getaway is the height of seaside sophistication. Philippe Starck’s bold white interior evokes local oyster farming, and Europe’s highest sand dune looms large as next-door neighbour. Outstanding seafood dining and sea-and-sand views at every turn are the icing on the cake. The hotel backs onto the Dune de Pilat which rises a mesmerising 114m above sea level and stretches south from Arcachon Bay for almost two miles.

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