Where to Go for a Wine Tasting from Bordeaux?
Wine regions closest to Bordeaux are Pessac-Leognan, Haut-Medoc, and Margaux. If you have little time, consider visiting wineries in one of these Bordeaux wine regions.
Some of the oldest wineries in Bordeaux, Chateau Pape Clement, and Chateau Haut-Brion are located within the city limits and can be reached in 15 minutes by car from the city center, or by public transit.
Where is Pessac-Leognan?
Pessac-Leognan is the name of the wine appellation established in 1987 on the left bank of the Garonne river, south of the city of Bordeaux.
The main towns in the appellations are Pessac, Leognan, Martillac, Gradignan, Villenave-d’Ornon, Cadaujac, Talence, and La Brede.
Wineries like Chateau Pape Clement and Chateau Haut Brion can be reached by a city TBM bus from the Bordeaux city center, and others, near Leognan and Martillac, by intercity buses operated by TransGironde.
However, driving around would be the easiest.
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The town of Martilllac
Why to Visit Pessac-Leognan Wineries?
Pessac-Leognan wineries are the closest to the city of Bordeaux. You will find many top Bordeaux producers within a short driving distance from the city center.
The region of Pessac-Leognan produces some of the best red and white wines in France. This is unique for Bordeaux, which is mostly known for its red wines.
Pessac-Leognan wines are generally a very good value for money. They are extremely popular among French wine lovers.
Since the wineries are located close to the big city, vineyards can sometimes be surrounded by residential housing. However, do not let that discourage you. The area is still large enough to find pretty rural landscapes, impressive castles, vineyards, and small villages. Just drive a bit further south from the city of Bordeaux. See my map of Pessac-Leognan wineries below.
Magnums collection at Chateau Pape Clement.
What Kind of Wines are Made in Pessac-Leognan?
Approximately 10 million bottles of red and white wines are made in Pessac- Leognan each year. Red wines represent approximately 80% of the total volume.
Red wines of Pessac-Leognan
Red wines are powerful yet delicate and refined.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the main grape varieties in Pessac-Leognan.
The typical aromas are crushed berries and fruits, vanilla, grilled almonds, and smoke.
Tasting at Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac.
White wines of Pessac-Leognan
The dry white wines of Pessac-Leognan are known for their freshness, complexity, intensity and balance.
Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion vines perform extremely well in poor, sandy and chalky soils of the Graves region. Sauvignon Blanc brings out the smell of the Muscat grapes while Semillion is adding aromas of candied fruit.
Best Wineries to Visit in Pessac-Leognan
Closed on Mondays, the 25th of December and the 1st of January.
The chateau offers a variety of tasting and food pairing experiences and interesting workshops.
Here, you can taste other wines of the Bernard Magrez company produced in France and abroad.
Open 7 days a week.
Tours are by appointment, but you can drop in for a tasting.
Besides a program of tours and workshops, it is possible to come for a discovery of 8 hectares of forest filled with art objects.
A vinotherapy spa, a 5-star hotel, and a 2-Michelin stars restaurant are on site.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is a luxurious spot near Bordeaux to stay in the wine country, enjoy a spa, haut cuisine and wine.
Visits are by prior appointment.
Open Monday through Friday morning.
Visits last approximately 1 hour and include Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion.
Monday to Friday 8:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 5:30pm
and Saturday from May to October (same schedule)
Visit by appointment only
Open from Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
During high season (summer)
Open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm
Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm with a break between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm
The chateau offers guided tours, tastings, workshops and romantic tastings in the beautiful garden.
Map of Wineries in Pessac-Leognan
See the Map of Pessac-Leognan wineries here to find more choices of wineries to visit on your Bordeaux wine tour. Click on a winery name to learn more about each estate and to arrange your visit.
Pessac-Leognan Wine Tours from Bordeaux
Tours to Pessac-Leognan are less of a mainstream than the Saint-Emilion or the Medoc.
A private tour might be a good option to visit this unique Bordeaux wine region. You will visit 3 wineries and stop for lunch.
Top Wines of Pessac-Leognan
Enjoy your Bordeaux wine tour!
For more tips on visiting the best wineries in Bordeaux, check out my blog.