|Vineyards & Towns of the Médoc|
Anyone interested in the wines of the Médoc should drive the Route des Vignobles (Vineyards Route), the D2 from Bordeaux north via Macau, Margaux, Lamarque, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, all the way to Saint-Yzans-de-Médoc near the northern extremity of the peninsula.
Five Médoc vineyards bear the coveted premier grand cru in the classification of Bordeaux wines carried out in 1855: Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion. You can easily spend €500 per bottle for their wines.
But there are dozens of other vineyards and châteaux from modest and bargain-priced to elegant and expensive along the route. Some welcome visitors anytime, others require that you make an appointment in advance.
Here are examples, from south (nearer to Bordeaux) to north:
Hennebelle's drinkable wines merit Appellation Haut-Médoc Controlée, but prices are good. No fancy chateau, just honest, enjoyable wine at affordable prices not far from Bordeaux. Open Monday through Friday from 8am to 12 noon and 3pm to 7pm, weekends by appointment.
Domaine de Château Margaux,
Home of some of the finest and most expensive
wines on the planet. A dignified, impressive
chateau, estate and vineyards. Visits weekdays
by appointment only. No
visits on weekends, or in
August, or during the vendange, or on holidays.
Route de Bordeaux (D2),
Among the oldest, most renowned vineyards producing some of the finest, most expensive wines. Its beautifully impressionistic website will show you pretty photos, play music for you (whether you want it or not), and will regale you with poetic text, but it is nearly impossible to use for obtaining information, so you may want to telephone to find out about visits and tastings.
Also known as Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Baron (to distinguish it from Chateau Pichon-Longueville
Comtesse de Lalande, which is across the
road), this offers one of the best vineyard
experiences, with a romantic chateau, superb
wines, and an informative tour. Visit and
tasting by appointment everyday from 9am
to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 6.30pm.
This pink château on a hill overlooking the broad Gironde estuary near the northern limit of the Médoc offers tours of the vineyards, winery and gardens daily from April to October at 11 am, 2:30 pm, 4 pm and 5:30 pm. By appointment only during the rest of the year. Lodging is available at the chateau.