Last-Minute Bordeaux Vineyards: Self-Guided Wine Tour

Vineyards in Bordeeaux

Do you have a free day to explore Bordeaux vineyards but have not planned your  château visits in advance?

As you may know, some Bordeaux châteaux accept visitors, but most of them require appointments.  Top Bordeaux wineries such as the first growth châteaux need to be contacted months and weeks in advance to secure time slots.  In my experience, it is not likely that you would snatch an appointment at a first growth château if you book last-minute.

However, there is a way to accommodate spontaneous visits at Bordeaux wineries.  There are some Bordeaux wineries including interesting grand cru classé that can be booked on a last-minute basis.

In most cases, you will need a rental car to explore Bordeaux wineries.  However, some wineries can be visited by train to Saint-Émilion and then a walk from the town of Saint-Émilion.

RELATED:

Do You Need a Car in Saint-Émilion?

 

How to Make Last-minute Reservations at Bordeaux Wineries?

Before making your winery reservation it is important to decide on the wine region you are going to.  Then select wineries available in your chosen wine region and make reservations at desired times.

Here are some resources on helping you select a wine region:

Map of Bordeaux Wineries

Médoc vs. Saint-Émilion

Pessac-Léognan Wineries Open to the Public

I do not recommend driving to wineries if you do not have confirmed appointments there.  Bordeaux châteaux often have limited staff onsite, so when you arrive, there is a chance the door won’t be answered.

It is also important to time your appointments and movements well.  Consider visit times and distances between various wineries and give yourself extra time to stop for an occasional photo, coffee or even to find a château entrance.  Wine tours may get cancelled if you are more than 10 minutes late. 

If you need help putting together your timed itinerary, please check out my Bordeaux Wine Tour Planning Service.  I will make reservations for you and  deliver a custom timed itinerary including your favourite wineries and other grand cru classé wineries available on your date.

To plan a self-guided tour in the Médoc, you may find my Médoc Tour Guide useful.

Recommended Small-Group Tour

  • Free Cancellation

  • 3 Wineries

  • Best Value

Which Bordeaux Wineries Can Be Booked Last Minute?

Saint-Émilion and Pomerol

These Sain-Émilion chateaux visits can be booked and paid for online, which is very convenient if you do not want to spend hours to research and wait for email responses:

Château La Croizille, Grand Cru Classé

Château Yon Figeac, Grand Cru Classé

Château Saint-Georges Côte Pavie

Château Balestard La Tonnelle 

Château Haute-Nauve: family winery visit and tasting

In addition, there is an option of paying on the site when you book through Rue des Vignerons.

My recommended wineries in the Saint-Émilion area are:

Château Beauséjour Bécot, Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B

Château Franc Mayne, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 

Château du Tailhas, Pomerol

Château Guadet, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 

One last source of information:  if you are in the town of Saint-Émilion, you can drop by the Tourism Office and ask for the “chateau of the day”.  Every day, the tourism office appoints at least one winery to hold open doors for visitors.  Sometimes these visits are free, which is a good bonus.

The Médoc

These Médoc chateaux visits can be booked and paid online:

Château Lanessan in Haut-Medoc has an interesting history and connection with horses

Château Haut-Breton Lariguardière in Margaux offers a variety of wine tasting experiences including wine games.

These wineries would be my selection in the Médoc:

Château Lamothe Bergeron – Try their tour with macarons!

Château Siran – The secret bunker and the escape game are great.

Château Dauzac – A 1855 Grand Cru Classé winery with an impressive cellar in Margaux

Chateau Marquis de Terme – stop by for a glass of wine and dine at their winery restaurant Au Marquis de Terme.

When driving on your own remember to plan your trips from winery to winery carefully.  Distances in the Medoc can be significant.  For example, a drive from the city of Bordeaux to a winery Saint-Éstephe can be as long as 1.5 hours.

Below I have included a map of suggested wineries in the Médoc.

Pessac-Léognan

The Pessac-Léognan wine region is relatively close to Bordeaux.  It is known for excellent red wines as well as crispy whites and of course its legendary chateaux such as Château Haut Brion and Château Pape Clément.

My favourite wineries to visit in Pessac-Léognan are:

Château Pape Clément, the oldest winery in Bordeaux

Château Latour Martillac, a family winery with great reds and whites.

Some of the wineries of Pessac are located quite close to Bordeaux and can be reached by bus or a quick Uber ride.  

Here is a map of Pessac-Léognan wineries that will help you plan your wine tour with ease.

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Polina

A sommelier and an experienced wine tour guide, I travel across Europe, collecting the best wineries to visit, best places to stay and eat.

I organize Bordeaux wine tours.

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Book your Bordeaux wine tour

Recommended Small-Group Tour

  • Free Cancellation

  • 3 Wineries

  • Best Value

Before You Go

Personalized travel insurance is always good to have.

Get up to 30% off your car rental in Europe with Rentalcars.com.

If you are looking for a driver or a private transfer in Bordeaux see some options here.

Where to Stay in Bordeaux?

Bordeaux city stays

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Saint-Emilion/Right Bank stays

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Medoc/Left Bank stays

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See more tips on visiting Bordeaux wine country in my Blog.  

If you are interested in a private wine tour of Saint-Emilion or Medoc wineries, see our tours at Atlas Bordeaux.

Enjoy your time in Bordeaux!

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