Wine Holidays, south of France

One of France's most beautiful regions, 3 hours south of Paris on the quick TGV train.

Bordeaux competes with Burgundy and Champagne for the title of France's prettiest wine region.  Bordeaux itself is a big bustling city with a huge old cathedral and trams running up and down the narrow packed streets.

Bordeaux is the world's largest wine region, producing 75 million cases of wine from 275,000 acres of vines. The famous districts include Medoc which is the home of the famous Chateau Lafite.

It's when you get out into the countryside around Bordeaux that you find some of the world's great wine dynasties, including Chateau Margaux and Chateau Latour.

Bordeaux vineyards

Drive half an hour east in the Dordogne direction and wander through the beautiful old wine town of St Emilion.  Restaurants here are out of this world, including the classic Clos du Roy with its intimate atmosphere, fantastic food and wondrous wine list.

The best accommodation in St Emilion is the Hostellerie Plaisance, a Relais & Chateaux property right in the middle of town in Place du Clocher.

A little further east, see the ancient hamlet of Monbazillac with its Great Castle that looks out over wonderful rolling hills.  And try the famous golden Monbazillac liquer made by monks that will have you smacking your lips and going back for more.

St Emilion features institutions such as Chateau Ausone and Cheval Blanc, while other nearby regions include Pomerol with its Chateau Petrus, as well as Graves.

Bordeaux's reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

vineyard near Bordeaux

White varietals include the widely-popular Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.  If you look at most of the labels on Bordeaux wine, you'll see the description "Mis en Boutelle au Chateau", which means the whole process has been performed by the Chateau, from growing the grapes to bottling.

Bordeaux has a mild climate thanks to the nearby Atlantic Ocean and the connecting Gironde Estuary which brings the temperature conditions inland to the grape growing regions.
Recent hot summers have led to earlier ripening of grapes - Merlot is the most widely-harvested, while the Medoc region is home to Bordeaux's famous Cabernet Sauvignon.

Bordeaux is also famous for its whites, principally Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The white wines of the region vary from dry to a number of sweet varietals from chateaux such as Sauternes. The sweeter wines vary according to the effects of the Botrytis fungus, also known as Noble Rot.

And if you're wandering through this wondrous wine country, don't miss driving an hour further inland to the delightful Dordogne region with its ruined chateaux and romantic Dordogne accommodation.

See the almost-hidden centre of Sarlat, the views from Domme and the river splendour of La Roque-Gageac.

Take a canoe trip from Beynac down the slow-flowing Dordogne River and take in all the majestic chateaux from your river perspective.  All you have to do is steer and be picked up by the canoe company at the end, to be taken back to your car.

This is wonderful country and everywhere you go, there are plentiful supplies of world-class Bordeaux wine

Book wine holiday accommodation near Bordeaux wineries

Big Google Map of Bordeaux Wine Region