Wine Travels: Bordeaux Part Cinq
In the last essay on Bordeaux, we explored the Graves region. Now we end the series with the area to the east of the town of Bordeaux and that the Discover Bordeaux site lists as “The Fortified Towns Road.”
Meaning “between two seas,” this region sits between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers that are considered “inland seas.” Along the Garonne River are the Premieres Cotes De Bordeaux and the Cadillac AOCs.
Less than six miles from the city center and just over the Garonne River is Chateau Pascot that offers individual visits without appointment. There you can find red wines in the price range of six to ten euros.
About fourteen miles away through the back roads of the region is Chateau Suau, a chateau that since 2008 has been using organic farming techniques. Another six miles and you will end up at Chateau Fontaine de Mouleyre that is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm for free visits and tastings.
Two more houses along the way, a four-mile jump and another seven miles, are Chateau La Bertrande and Chateau Moulin de Corneil both of which offer visits. La Bertrande holds more interest for me because I want to hear more about the “noble and magic fungus” Botrytis Cinerea that uses the grapes as a host and adds a flavor to the wine.
At this point, it’s a wise time to travel on to Langon, cross the river and head to Chateau de Roquetaillade, a fortress built in 1306 near the site of a castle built by Charlemagne. Visits are available from Easter to June at 3 pm and 4 pm. (Looking from this angle, a helicopter tour would be pretty cool as well.)
Crossing back over the river and heading to Sauveterre-de-Guyenne leads you into the Entre-Deux-Mers AOC. Along the D671 heading back toward Bordeaux, there is the Chateau La Commanderie, Chateau Rose Roudier and Chateau Chantelouve before you get to the town of La Sauve.
Once in La Sauve, you can visit the AOCs boutique that offers a Best of Wine tasting. It is also just down the street from the Grande-Sauve Abbey, ruins of a Romanesque style structure founded in 1079. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
From there, you can head in about any direction and find more chateaus in the AOC and the boutique will be a great resource to help you find ones that offer visits and tastings. Then it is just a forty-minute drive from La Sauve you are back in Bordeaux.
After five essays, you’ve now been introduced to all of the regions specializing in wine around the city of Bordeaux. Believe me when I say that I’ve only just briefly touched on the possible adventures to be had in this region. If you love wine and you have a spare couple of weeks, I’m not sure you could find a better trip to take than to Bordeaux. With all of the history and beautiful countryside surrounding you, it would be a heck of a trip. Plus, there’s the wine. Let’s not forget the wine. Well, if you drink enough, you might. But, that’s why you take some wine home.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."