Where is Pauillac, France?
Pauillac is a small port town in the Medoc Peninsula on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, approximately 55 km (34 miles) from the city of Bordeaux.
You can find the map of Bordeaux wine country here and my map of Pauillac wineries below.
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How to Get to Pauillac?
It takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Pauillac from Bordeaux by car.
Pauillac can also be reached by suburban TER train or TransGironde bus from Bordeaux.
A train from Bordeaux Gare St. Jean to Pauillac station will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. The train schedules and tickets can be found here.
If you are driving to Pauillac from Bordeaux and interested to pass by other famous Bordeaux wine regions, take road D2 which is also known as the Route of the Chateaux. Many Medoc wine estates are located along this road. You will be passing by the famous wineries of Margaux and Saint-Julien on your way.
Although the road is quite narrow with some steep curves and a speed limit of mostly 50 kmph, or 31 mph, it may be worth a slightly longer ride.
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What is Special About Wines of Pauillac?
Pauillac gives an impression of a sleepy town, however, it is surrounded by the world’s most famous chateaux, making the area well worth a visit.
The appellation of protected origin or AOP Pauillac covers 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of vineyards.
Three of the five Premier Cru Classe of the Medoc – Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Mouton Rothschild are part of the Pauillac appellation. They are surrounded by 15 other Grand Cru Classe estates.
The wines of Pauillac are typically a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon is striving in the warm, gravel soils of Pauillac. Large pebbles accumulate heat during the day and release it during the night allowing Cabernet Sauvignon to reach its optimal ripeness. This grape variety often dominates the blend of local wines.
Poor soils of Pauillac promote deep root growth, while the proximity of the river and the Atlantic ocean create perfect climatic conditions for the famous wines of Pauillac.
Wines of Pauillac are deep in color, full-bodied, with powerful tannins. They are known for their long aging potential. Over the years, the best Pauillac wines become rounder and softer while developing noble aromas.
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Map of Pauillac Chateaux
Best Chateaux to Visit in Pauillac
At Chateau Mouton Rothschild, you get to see the old vineyards, the most impressive state-of-the-art winery, and two amazing museums. You will taste one of the top wines in the world.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild is classified as the Premier Grand Cru Classe in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines.
A visit at Chateau Mouton Rothschild is typically longer than in other wineries. Allocate approximately 2.5 hours.
Book your visit to this chateau well in advance.
This Medoc chateau is the 2nd Grand Cru Classe winery in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux Wineries.
The estate was founded in 1694 when it came as a dowry to Baron Jacques Pichon de Longueville. Today, this plot of land in Pauillac is considered to be the source of one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire region.
The winery is also famous for its 19th-century castle. Inspired by Renaissance architecture, this chateau is the most impressive in the Medoc.
The estate was owned by the Pichon Longueville family for centuries. The family only sold it in 1933. Since 1987, Chateau Pichon Baron is owned by the insurance company AXA.
You will find out what is hidden under the reflecting pool when you visit the winery!
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Chateau Pedesclaux, the 5th Grand Cru Classe, is a miracle of modern winemaking.
Having visited hundreds of European wineries, I am still utterly impressed by the technology put into use at Chateau Pedesclaux.
The Lorenzetti family has carefully renovated the chateau and built a modern vat room working exclusively on the principle of gravity, with carefully designed vats and wine elevators.
These and other advancements in the winery and the vineyard allowed this Pauillac chateau to produce excellent grand cru classe wines and the astonishing second wine using organic methods.
If you want to understand the essence of the Pauillac terroir, visit Chateau Pedesclaux on your Medoc wine tour.
Prior to 1939, the estate belonged to the Lynch family of Ireland. Thomas Lynch produced high-quality wines under the name of ”Cru de Lynch” which was classified as the Fifth Growth by the prestigious 1855 Classification.
In the 1940s, Jean-Charles Cazes acquired the business with its 16th-century building and the 1850s vat room.
In 2017, the Cazes family started renovations of the winemaking facilities.
Jean-Michel Cazes, the grandson of Jean-Charles, is known to consistently produce excellent quality wines due to precise winemaking techniques.
Everyone in Bordeaux is excited to visit the renovated chateau and taste the latest vintages. You might be among the first visitors in 2021.
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal was founded in the 18th century by the Liberal family. Most of the wines produced here were exported to the Netherlands and Belgium.
The terroir of Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal is shared with the First Growth Chateau Latour. Half of the wines are planted just next to the top chateau.
Today, the winery is owned by Claire Villars Lurton. Under her management, the estate has undergone a complete renovation to organic and biodynamic vineyard management.
The grounds of the chateau were fully renovated as well.
You can come to Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal for a tasting of Pauillac wines as well as other family wines: Château Ferrière, 3rd Classified Growth in Margaux, Château Durfort-Vivens, 2nd Classified Growth in Margaux and Acaibo, the wine made in Sonoma, California.
Where to Eat near Pauillac?
Here are some of my recommendations of excellent restaurants in the Medoc. View more suggestions of Bordeaux restaurants and cafe.
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Get more tips on organizing your wine tasting in Europe in my blog.