FRANCE: Boutique VIP: Bordeaux Harvest Tour - 6 days
Destinations: FRANCE: Bordeaux
Tour Grading MODERATE: Suitable for travellers with an average level of fitness and mobility
Tour Commences In: Bordeaux
Number of Days: 6 days / 5 nights
Accommodation: 5 Modern Boutique Spa Hotel
Leaders: Professional Expert Guide and Chefs
Tour Concludes In: Bordeaux
Tour Style: luxury Escorted Small Group Tour
Meals: Breakfast; 5: Lunch; 3: Dinner; 4:
Transportation: Luxury private chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles
September is an exciting time to be in Bordeaux. We’ve organized an exclusive Bordeaux Harvest Tour designed to let you in and see how wine is made, from grapes to glass. Get to know major appellations of Bordeaux as you taste at some of the most prestigious estates of the Graves, Médoc, Sauternes and St. Emilion region. From First Growths to Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels. This tour offers a fantastic overview of the best that Bordeaux has to offer. But it doesn’t stop there! Experience the harvest first hand, along with a traditional harvest lunch at a Cru Bourgeois chateau. Participate in a blending workshop to understand the magic of wine making. Enjoy luxurious accommodations in the heart of Bordeaux at 5* spa hotel, as well as exclusive private wine tasting meals at some of the best Grand Cru Classé historic estates in the region. A truly first-class learning experience for the wine lover!
• 5 nights’ accommodations at 5-Star Luxury Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux and Spa, Deluxe Room, double occupancy
• Buffet breakfast each day
• All VIP tours and tastings at the region’s finest wine estates
• 3 lunches with Grand Cru wines, mineral water and coffee, including a private wine tasting lunch with a Grand Cru producer and a traditional harvest meal
• 4 gastronomic dinners with Grand Cru and premium wines, mineral water and coffee, including 2 private wine tasting dinners
• Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach transportation throughout
• The services of an English-speaking Bordeaux wine expert guide throughout the tour
• A full packet of information on the region and wine tasting sent to you in advance of the tour, all local taxes, all gratuities for baggage handling and included restaurants
Day 1: Monday 25th September 2017: Welcome to Bordeaux:
Day 2: Tuesday 26th September 2017: Blue Chips Estates in the Medoc:
Day 3: Wednesday 27th September 2017: Harvest in Bordeaux:
Day 4: Thursday 28th September 2017: Graves & Sauternes:
Day 5: Friday 29th September 2017: Saint Emilion:
Day 6: Saturday 30th September 2017: Depart Bordeaux:
All our hotels are excellent four and five star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotels as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double or twin beds.
Climate & Clothing:
In summer the weather in France is mild to warm, the temperature average between June and July is about 78°F - 26°C. Summers are relatively dry, but rain does occur all year round. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.
Currency & Money Matters:
The official currency in France is EURO (€). On January 1, 2002, the Euro became the official currency for 300 million Europeans, in use in 12 countries of the European Union. Traveller’s Cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
The electrical current in France is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking. Boutique Tours & Travel offers Travel Insurance at a competitive rate; enquiries welcome.
French is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
Our hotels offer a wonderful selection of dishes at their buffet breakfasts and we include a wide variety of both menu and venue for our lunches.
Medical Services & Facilities:
Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in France are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.
Passports & Visas:
To enter France you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. No visa is required for tourists.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:
Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed.Boutique Tours & Travel has negotiated special overnight rates at this hotel for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please ask for details at time of booking. Local tour guides are also available on request.
We welcome single travellers and we are able to arrange single accommodation. We negotiate strongly to keep single supplements at a reasonable cost. If you wish to share a room, we will endeavour to match you with another single guest and adjust the costs accordingly and refund any costs after you return home. We accept no responsibility for the suitability of a room partner.
Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking or non-smoking rooms and special dietary needs or any other arrangement should be advised at time of booking. Please note that every effort will be made to secure your special request; however, they cannot always be guaranteed.
France Standard time is GMT +1 (GMT + 2 during Summer Daylight Saving Time)
Our small group tours include you with a like minded people with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.
We generally use modern luxury minibuses for tours. We also walk where and when it’s suitable. TVG train as noted
Water & Beverages:
Our hotels offer bottled water and bottled water is provided throughout the day when transferrin between cities. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour.
Day 1: Monday 25th September 2017: Welcome to Bordeaux: (D)
A private group transfer will be available by deluxe minivan at 2:30pm at Gare St. Jean in Bordeaux and at Bordeaux Merignac airport. Transfer to your hotel, the luxurious Grand Hotel and Spa de Bordeaux. Later this afternoon, you will meet your guide for an informative introduction to the wines of Bordeaux, allowing for a solid foundation for your tour. Next, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner in one of the hotel’s private rooms featuring specialties of the region paired with premium wines to enhance the meal.
Day 2: Tuesday 26th September 2017: Blue Chips Estates in the Medoc: (B/L/D)
We begin our exploration of Bordeaux in the Médoc at Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac. There has been just one change in status in the First Growth Classification of 1855. In all that time, only Chateau Mouton Rothschild was elevated to First Growth status from the second growth list in 1973. After touring their beautiful facilities and enjoying their fascinating private Museum of Wine in Art, you’ll enjoy a special tasting of an older vintage of their first wine. Lunch will be at Café Lavinal in the village of Bages, owned by the same family as Classified Growth Chateau Lynch Bages. After lunch and some free time to discover the village of Bages, visit a “Super 2nd” estate located in Pauillac: Chateau Pichon Comtesse. (This visit may be replaced with another Second Growth such as Chateau Leoville Poyferre or Chateau Cantenac Brown.) There will be time to return to your hotel to freshen up before going to dinner at a Michelin star gastronomic restaurant that overlooks the famous fountain of ‘The Three Graces’ and the newly installed ‘Water Mirror’ display, which reflects the architectural grandeur of Place de la Bourse. The chef offers inventive cuisine combining authentic flavors and products of the highest quality.
Day 3: Wednesday 27th September 2017: Harvest in Bordeaux; (B/L/D)
Our explorations in the Médoc continue with an exceptional opportunity to view and participate in the annual harvest. Led by a group of dedicated chateaux owners who are proud to share their experience with us, get a behind-the-scenes view of winemaking, starting in the vineyards. We’ll start at a Cru Bourgeois estate, Chateau Paloumey, and head out in the vineyards to experience how the harvest is done, and gather grapes ourselves before taking a well-deserved break and enjoying a traditional harvest lunch on the property. Next we’ll learn about the art and science of blending, vat-tastings, and final bottle tastings at Chateau Lagrange. Perched on two beautiful ridges, the vast vineyard of Lagrange spreads over 118 uninterrupted hectares in the Saint-Julien appellation. The cellar master selects 10 lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot & pressed wine, and from there you create your own Grand Cru wine! Tonight, dine at the casual bistro. The dining space is sleek and contemporary, with exposed limestone walls, a long polished bar and stacks of wine bottles and cases. The wonderful wine list offers a personal look at Bordeaux’s best.
Day 4: Thursday 28th September 2017: Graves & Sauternes: (B/L)
This morning we head to Péssac Léognan, where you’ll be welcomed at First Growth Chateau Haut Brion, the oldest and smallest of the First Growths. The chateau lies in Pessac Leognan, just one mile away from the city of Bordeaux and is the only non-Médoc estate to be included in the 1855 classification. Next, a special treat awaits you at another Classified Growth, Chateau Haut Bailly, with a private tour and tasting, followed by a private wine tasting lunch in the chateau. This afternoon, the King of Sauternes is our destination, as we meet with the winemaker to tour and taste at Chateau d’Yquem, or its neighbor, First Classified Growth Chateau Guiraud or Suduiraut. Here you’ll learn how the Noble Rot turns the best Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes into liquid gold in this exceptional terroir. Return to your hotel at the end of the afternoon and enjoy an evening on your own.
Day 5: Friday 29th September 2017: Saint Emilion: (B/D)
To today we drive east, across the Dordogne River, to the Right Bank where you’ll visit the lovely medieval village of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The morning holds tastings at two legendary vineyards. The first is in appellation Saint Emilion, one of Bordeaux’s oldest vineyards, producing well-structured wines with great character that comes from a judicious blending of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. One of the great First Growths will open its doors to you for a tour and tasting, such as Chateau Troplong Mondot (or Chateau Angelus or Figeac). The story of Troplong-Mondot is very much a modern one: a tale of how one generation took the reigns and turned a very adequate family business into a highly successful one, and how that success was rewarded with elevation in the 2006 reclassification of Saint Emilion — from Grand Cru Classé to Premier Grand Cru Classé. Then discover the other prestigious appellation of this area, Pomerol. This tiny appellation is considered the world’s preeminent terroir for Merlot, producing wines of great character and complexity. You’ll enjoy a tour and tasting at the completely refurbished Chateau Petit Village (or Chateau Gazin). Laid out in a triangular shape, the estate consists of 27 acres of vineyards, with a nucleus of small buildings that serve as winery, vineyard and business offices. Interestingly, this is presumed to account for its name, which means “small village.” You’ll have time to explore Saint Emilion’s historic monuments, boutiques and wine shops, and for lunch on your own. Your final gala dinner will be a private meal prepared by the personal chef of the estate of Chateau La Lagune, with some very special wines. Chateau La Lagune is a Third Growth estate from the Haut-Medoc which has a terroir that combines the elegance and balance that typifies great wines from Bordeaux.
Day 6: Saturday 30th September 2017: Depart Bordeaux: (B)
In the late morning, we’ll provide a private group transfer to Bordeaux Merignac airport and Bordeaux Saint Jean train station, arriving at approximately 10:00-11:30am.
“The guide was absolutely a fountain of information and energy; the hotel was over the top, our room, the food, the service; the choices of chateau visits were wonderful (this was our first tour and first time in Bordeaux) - we both felt that we learned and experienced so many unique things. The lunch at Paloumey was truly memorable, as was actually picking the grapes and seeing the harvest process. Next to that memory, however, are all the vistas and visits and memories of all the days - the dinner in Bordeaux, breakfasts shared before a full day of touring, walks through the vineyard next door at the end of the day, the lunch a tPetitVillage. Cannot pick ‘ONE’ as our favorite!” Bruce and Laurie A.