How to Visit Chateau Mouton Rothschild near Bordeaux?

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Chateau Mouton Rothschild is known around the world for its premium wines, its extraordinary history, and the figure of Baron Philippe de Rothschild.

Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, the great-grandfather of Baron Philippe, bought Chateau Brane-Mouton in Pauillac on the Left Bank in the Bordeaux region in the Medoc at an auction in 1853.  Interestingly, Baron Nathaniel never visited the property he bought. 

Today, the estate is the only one in the Medoc which remains in the same family since the year of the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. Chateau Mouton Rothschild is one of the five First Growth estates in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines.  However, in 1855 it was classified as only the second.

It was due to the tireless efforts of Baron Philippe de Rothschild who settled in the chateau in 1922 and devoted himself to the estate, that the chateau was given the status of Classified First Growth (Premier Cru Classe) following the decree signed in 1973 by Jacques Chirac, then French Minister of Agriculture.

After the death of Baron Philippe in 1988, his only daughter Baroness Philippine continued the passionate work of her father and passed it on to her three children, Camille, Philippe, and Julien, along with the motto “Mouton ne change” (“Mouton Doesn’t Change”).

RELATED: List of the Medoc Wineries In the 1855 Bordeaux Classification

RELATED: Autobiography of Baron Philippe de Rothschild

Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Is Chateau Mouton Rothschild Open for Visits?

Yes, you can visit Chateau Mouton Rothschild

You get to see the old vineyards, the most impressive winery, vast cellars, and two amazing museums. 

The chateau offers three types of tours to best fit your interests:

  • Full Tour – visit the Vat Room, the Museum of Art in Wine, the Paintings for the Labels Room, the Cellars, and the Great Barrel Hall.
  • Art and Wine Tour – visit the Vat Room, the Museum of Art in Wine, and the Paintings for the Labels Room.
  • Technical Tour – visit the Vat Room, the Cellars, and the Great Barrel Hall.

Tours are held Monday through Friday.

How to Visit Chateau Mouton Rothschild?

You will need an advance appointment, sometimes weeks or even months in advance.  Please book ahead. 

A drive from central Bordeaux to the town of Pauillac takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow some extra time during the morning rush hour.  I recommend taking the Route of the Chateaux (D2). There many famous names in the wine world along the road. 

Free parking is available in front of the chateau.

As tours typically run in groups of 15 people, you will need to be on time for your tour. You may want to call up the reception to tell them if you are running a little late.

You can also ask a private wine tour guide to arrange a tour of Chateau Mouton Rothschild.  Bordeaux group tours do not offer visits to Premier Cru chateaux.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Medoc Wine Region in France

How Much is a Visit to Chateau Mouton Rothschild?

Group tours at Chateau Mouton Rothschild start at 65 euros per person. The basic tour includes a tasting of one vintage of Premier Grand Cru Classe wine.

Vineyards of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in the spring.

What Should I Wear on a Visit of Chateau Mouton Rothschild?

There is no dress code for visitors on a Bordeaux wine tour. 

However, you may want to dress up a bit for your visit to a historic estate like Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Your tour guide at the chateau will wear a nice suit. You will walk through museum rooms featuring fine art collections and taste one of the best wines in the world.  

A smart style would also be a good choice if you are going to have lunch at one of the fine restaurants in the Medoc.

As the tour of the estate may take over two hours, I recommend wearing very comfortable shoes.

RELATED:  What to Wear for a Wine Tasting in Bordeaux, France? 

Harvest at Chateau Mouton Rothschild is done by hand in September and October.

What Will You See on A Tour of Chateau Mouton Rothschild?

Gardens

The grounds of Chateau Mouton Rothschild are vast and immaculately maintained.  My favorite view is the alley connecting Chateau Mouton Rothschild with Chateau Armailhac, also part of the family company, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA.

Famous Vineyards

View on vineyards and the Vat Room of Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

The vineyard of Chateau Mouton Rothschild located all around the winery over small hills close to the Garonne river spans 90 hectares (222 acres)

The soils are made of gravel, with large pebbles, some sand and clay.  

Some of the vines of Chateau Mouton Rothschild are over 100 years old.

On my visit in late March, I was lucky to see robot trials in the vineyards of Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

RELATED: When Is the Best Time to Visit Bordeaux 

The Vat Room

The new vat room was inaugurated in 2012 combining Bordeaux traditions and cutting-edge technology. 

The building designed and built by the scenographer Richard Peduzzi and the Bordeaux architect Bernard Mazières resembles a theater stage creating a link between wine and art, specifically the acting career of Baroness Philippine.

The impressive vat room holds 44 wooden French oak vats and 20 modern stainless steel vats. The vat room is built on two levels which allows for the use of gravity in the vinification process which is important for creation of  delicate and elegant wines.

Barrels being filled in the vat room.

The Cellars

Walking the old cellars of Mouton Rothschild brings you to the past.  

Throughout the aging process, there is a lot of work to do in the cellars: topping up barrels to compensate for evaporation of wine, racking, and fining.  

Racking process involves moving wine from one cask to another, while removing lees (dead yeast and sediment) and cleaning the barrels.

The Great Barrel Hall

The 100-metre-long and 25-meter wide Grand Chai (the Great Barrel Hall), designed by the architect Charles Siclis, was built in 1926. It can hold up to 1,000 barrels on one level. 

This room is considered to be an architectural wonder as it was built without any supporting columns.

Only new French oak barrels are used to make Chateau Mouton Rothschild wines.

Paintings for the Labels And the Museum of Wine in Art

In 1962, André Malraux, the French Minister of Cultural Affairs at the time, inaugurated the Museum of Art in Wine, created by Baron Philippe and his second wife, Baroness Pauline. 

The museum contains a collection of objects associated with wine. Some of these objects have inspired the wine labels of Chateau Mouton Rothschild and its sister wineries in Pauillac.

A separate hall exhibits originals of paintings that were created for the labels of the chateau wine starting from 1945, including works of Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring

Tasting the 2011 vintage at the end of the tour.

Can I Buy Wine at Chateau Mouton Rothschild?

Chateau Mouton Rothschild has a boutique where you can buy their wines from the Medoc as well as Almaviva and Opus One, wines made in partnership with Viña Concha y Toro in Chile and Constellation Wines in California. 

he company also produces a Champagne brand available at the boutique.

The vintages and large formats that may not be available in the chateau boutique, can be ordered through a Bordeaux wine merchant in the US, Millesima.  10% off your first purchase with discount code SHAREASALE10.

Where to Eat in the Medoc?

Here are some of my recommendations of excellent restaurants in the Medoc near Chateau Mouton Rothschild.  View more suggestions of Bordeaux restaurants and cafe.

RELATED: Bordeaux Michelin-star Restaurants With a Map

I will be happy to organize your Bordeaux wine tour.  For other wine regions see my wine tour destination guides here.

Get more tips on wine tastings in Europe in my blog

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