The Best Bordeaux Wineries to Visit

Head to Bordeaux and visit these exciting wineries when looking for an authentic French experience.

Château La Tour Carnet
Photo: © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Bordeaux wineries produce red wines that set the standard by which other Cabernet Sauvignon- and Merlot-based bottlings from around the world are judged. The region's perfect combination of maritime climate (warm days, cool nights) and wine-friendly soils (gravel and clay) are suited to dry and sweet whites, too, though reds make up about 90% of Bordeaux's output today. Here's a primer on each Bordeaux winery among the best makers and destinations.

01 of 20

Château d'Agassac

Aerial view of Château d'Agassac

Château D'Agassac

This Ludon-Medóc estate, with its fairytale castle begun in the 13th century, goes all-out for visitors. Themed tours and tastings can be individually tailored by appointment, from guided adventure tours to treasure hunts for children. Check the website for wine dinners and special events.

02 of 20

Château La Dominique

The modern wine-making facility at Château La Dominique

Atelier Positif / Didier Bonrepaux

This Saint-Emilion Grand Cru has earned its place on visitors' itineraries not just for its refined, full-flavored reds, but for its strikingly modern Jean Nouvel-designed wine making facility. The winery also provides panoramic views of its famous neighbors from the Terasse Rouge restaurant up top. Book ahead for cellar tours and restaurant reservations.

03 of 20

Château Franc Mayne

The vineyards at Château Franc-Mayne

Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy Stock Photo

In an area where affordable wines can be difficult to come by, this St. Emilon Grand Cru offers a genuine taste of the terroir at realistic prices, and provides a great base for touring with its lovely B&B, including a gorgeous landscaped swimming pool about a mile from the center of town. Other attractions include its extensive quarry caves and guided tours and tastings.

04 of 20

Château Guiraud

A tree-lined road in latge afternoon sunlight at Château Guiraud

F. Poincet

Here is a place to taste something unforgettable and completely different: The glorious, high-end dessert wines of Sauternes. This Sauternes First Growth from the classification of 1855 is not only one of the appellations' most prominent wineries, but among the most hospitable. It's lovely, removed, tree-lined grounds are worth the trip alone (book ahead for a picnic in warm weather), but the tours, botanic walks, and dining options can make the visit truly special.

05 of 20

Château Gruaud Larose

The vineyards and estate at Château Gruaud Larose

Arthur Pequin

One of St. Julien's most beautiful neo-classical estates, Gruaud Larose is also among its most visitor-friendly. The basic tour starts high in the panoramic tower and descends into the cellars with a tasting at the end. The two-hour White Path tour takes in the grounds and vineyards. Arrange ahead to have macarons with your tasting or take a cooking course.

06 of 20

Château Kirwan

The grounds at Château Kirwan

Château Kirwan

It is worth checking out the website of this well-regarded Margaux Grand Cru Classé to see what sort of special events may be available during your visit — cooking classes with a prominent local chef, for example, or a workshop where you create your own perfume. There is also a slate of tours and tastings available, either drop-in or customized by appointment.

07 of 20

Château Lanessan

The estate at Château Lanessan

Château Lanessan

A very stylish Haut-Medoc cru bourgeois property, Lanessan has remained in the same family for eight generations. Bargain minded drinkers know it for its reasonably priced reds, which are often outstanding values in today's Bordeaux. Others come for the beauty of it 20-acre English gardens, and still others for its equestrian history: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the grounds to the showplace stables and Belle Epoque riding museum.

08 of 20

Château Maucaillou

Château Maucaillou
© Christophe Viaud

This distinctive, concave château near the Moulis train station offers essentially a wine tourism center of its own with a wealth of offerings, including a wine museum, wine classes, a gift shop, and even a handsome bed and breakfast on property, which is well-located as a base for touring the Medóc.

09 of 20

Château Marquis de Vauban

Exterior shot of the Château Marquis de Vauban

Vignobles De Cancave

An historic château — the property's history dates back to the 9th century — in Blaye, its current owners have made welcoming visitors a priority. The château offers an array of activities including a tour in a carriage horse, a wine grower's lunch, and various tours from March to November (the shop is open year-round) that include visits to the nearby Citadel of Blaye.

10 of 20

Château Mouton Rothschild

Topiaries and exterior of Château Mouton Rothschild


You can visit all five of the august First Growths if you can wrangle an appointment, but Mouton is unquestionably the most welcoming — you can book online — and the one most set up to entertain casual visitors. You feel how special this place is the minute you lay eyes on it: manicured vine rows, sculpted hedges; even the pathway gravel is perfectly raked. Inside, in addition to the range of stellar wines, you can visit the lovely Museum of Wine in Art, a former barrel cellar chockfull of treasures, from medieval tapestries to Chinese porcelain, and the room displaying the originals of the famous label paintings.

11 of 20

Château Pape Clément

A set table in the dining room at Château Pape Clément

Château Pape Clement

One of Graves' most highly regarded estates for both its red and white wines, Pape Clément is among the most accommodating of Bordeaux's grand châteaux (among other things, it is the relatively rare cellar open on Sundays). The visitors' staff offers a menu of tours, tastings, classes, and even overnight stays at the château, which can be customized to your needs.

12 of 20

Château Peyrabon

Exterior view of Château Peyrabon
© Château Peyrabon

The fact that this property is owned by an international wine merchant (Patrick Bernard of Millésima) is reflected both in the palate-pleasing qualities of its Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, and in the quality of its year-round welcome. Here is a stop in Pauillac whose wines — from the flagship La Fleur to the "second wine," Château Pierbone — won't break the bank.

13 of 20

Château Phélan Ségur

Exterior view of Château Phélan Ségur

Château Phelan Segur

Perhaps Saint-Estephe's most classically beautiful château, with stylish wines to match, this property, lovingly tended and upgraded by the Gardinier family, is a once-overlooked gem that has come into its own. It has also become known for hospitality, with tastings and vineyard tours year-round by individual appointment.

14 of 20

Château Pontet-Canet

Exterior view of Château Pontet-Canet

Château Pontent-Canet

The Tesseron family provides a warm, well-planned welcome at this Paulliac Classified Growth estate. Book ahead (online or by phone) for the full treatment, in English, which includes a golf-cart tour of this handsome property, with its architecture spanning 17th-century neo-classical to the new amphora-inspired vat room. Finish it off with a tasting of the often superb Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine.

15 of 20

Château Rauzan-Gassies

Exterior of Château Rauzan-Gassies

Per Karlsson, BKWine 2 / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the Grands Cru Classés elevated by the classification of 1855 (it ranks as a Second Growth), this is a property in Margaux whose heritage extends back to the Middle Ages. A visit these days is highlighted by a unique "horizontal tasting" of three wines from the same vintage that showcase the differences between Margaux, Pauillac, and Haut-Medôc.

16 of 20

Château de Sales

The archeay entrance to Château de Sales

Château de Sales

The largest property in Pomerol, it is also one of the loveliest, looked-after by the same family for 550 years. Its graceful, Merlot-based wines are among the more affordable in this very expensive appellation of mostly tiny properties and its second wine, Chantalouette, can be a terrific value. Book ahead.

17 of 20

Château Siaurac

Aerial view of Château Siaurac

Château Siaurac

This right-bank property is tucked into an extensive park surrounded by age-old oaks. In addition to this Lalande de Pomerol label, its proprietor owns an estate in St. Emilion (Le Prieuré) and Pomerol proper (Vray Croix de Gay), making this a kind of one-stop tasting venue for fine examples of three appellations. Call ahead to arrange picnics, tastings, and dinners at this hospitable château.

18 of 20

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

The vineyards and estate at Château Smith Haut Lafitte


This lavishly appointed estate in the Pessac-Leognan area of Graves produces pricey, top-notch whites and reds, and provides a slate of experiences (from basic tastings to "Art & Vine" tours to a chance to rub elbows in the cellars) that may be second to none. A further treat: The owners also own the Caudelie brand, and its Vinothérapie spa, with many treatments based on grape phenols, is right here.

19 of 20

Château Soutard

Château Soutard
© Tom Fecht

Saint-Emilion's Soutard is a rare combination of fine winery and fully thought-out visitor experience, which includes daily drop-in tours in English from April to November, as well as guestrooms, workshops, nature trails, and bike rentals.

20 of 20

Château La Tour Carnet

The dining room at Château La Tour Carnet

Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

This 900-year-old château is a true "castle," complete with moat and drawbridge. Visitors come to visit in Saint Laurent for its wines, classified as Grands Crus in 1855, but a few stay on in one of the two elegant guestrooms, named for the philosophers Montaigne and La Boétie (fittingly there is an annual literary award ceremony here). Call ahead or book your visit online.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles