It's a great pleasure to visit Bordeaux in summer. Warm, quiet, and you can get sunny days most of the time. Although some chateaux closed in August, we were able to made visits to some top growths, like Latour, Mouton, Lynch Bages, Palmer and Vieux Chateau Certan. Most of the visits are free of charge, and you need not be a wine trader nor an experienced wine expert. The most important things are: firstly, make reservation via fax before you visit (suggested at least 2 weeks before); and secondly, arrive on time. It's shame to be no show or even late.
Most people say Mouton Rothschild is a must go if you visit Bordeaux. It depends on what you like to see and do. If you like the museum (which I feel it's quite boring), buying souvenir or poster, then the answer is right. But if you like to have someone knows wine a lot and like to share with you her experience sincerely and truly friendly, you may not be able to find one in Mouton as they are doing very commercial. To me, I found all of these in Chateau Latour. We received the warmest welcome out of the chateaux we visited this time though we were not wine trader. Not only their wine is one of the greatest, but also the hospitality, I also share with you the pictures I took there ,,, the grape, and the wine we tasted ('91/'97 Grand Vin and Second Vin).
Chateau Mouton Rothschild
as I mentioned, they are doing very commercial. They charge you 50ff per
person. It's still worth to visit anyway. The
guide will show you the vineyard, the cellar, the museum, the great labels,
and finally let you taste their wine of the latest vintage. If you want
old vintage, you can but you need to pay more. If you collect their labels,
you must be too happy to find their postcard-size labels in different vintages,
Or you can buy a big poster with labels from '40 to '92. So happened I
found a label of '85 with the owner's signature on it from a magazine.
Hope you like it,
Vieux Chateau Certan
This is another Chateau I received warm welcome in Bordeaux, The owner brought us in person to see his vineyard, explained to me how they planted the vine, and shared with me his experience of wine making,
Chateau Lynch Bages
Being a Fifth growth and producing wine of quality equivalent to a Second growth, the guide I met is surprisingly unprofessional, Knowing nothing about wine but only the script she needed to know to be a 'guide'. A very boring tour.
Usually, chateau sells no wine or only very young wine. If you want to buy wine of old vintages, you should go to the wine shops in Bordeaux city center. L'Intendant is the one you must go no matter you like to buy wine or not. It has a great collection of bordeaux wine in different vintages. The wine lays along the spectacular spiral stair and you may spend more than an hour there.