Bordeaux Travel Guide
Château Cos d'Estournel is one of the top Haut-Médoc wine producers in Bordeaux’s St.-Estèphe region. The property sits on 200 acres with an impressive, yet somewhat quirky 19th century château (hand-carved doors imported from Zanzibar and Asian-style pagodas).
The wine bar is run by three friends, one of whom is an expert on the local estates, from which he handpicks wines for the menu. Chartrons also hosts frequent tastings.
Château Grand Callamand is both a winery and a bed-and-breakfast. Located near the town of Pertuis in Luberon National Park, the château is owned by the Souzan-Delagrave family, who tend to both the vines and the inn.
You'll get an eyeful of decorative objects and other furnishings by cutting-edge designers such as Christophe Pillet, Jurgen Bey, and Karim Rashid. Loup's owner, Sylvain Labrosse, also curates seasonal art exhibitions.
The former archbishop's residence houses a vast collection that includes two wings full of paintings from 17th-century masters, another wing with 19th-century French painters, as well as 20th-century luminaries, such as Matisse, Kokoschka, and Picasso.
More than just a winery, Château Smith Haut Lafitte is a family home, a hotel with a natural mineral springs spa, and one of the most praised winemakers in Bordeaux.
The former 17th-century church has been transformed into a bar/cinema/art complex. On sunny days in the late afternoon, the outdoor terrace is bathed in sunlight, and the crowds descend to bask in the warmth.
Set in a former warehouse, the museum shows a rotating collection of art from the 1960's to the present.
Just off the D2 highway—known as the Route des Châteaux—this 128-acre winery is easily recognizable by its two conical turrets rising behind a wrought-iron railing.
This confectioner churns out whimsy by the boxful, such as mountains of buttery fleur de sel caramels, and paves de Bordeaux ("Bordeaux cobblestones"), cubes of praline and wine-soaked raisins dipped in chocolate and rolled in cinnamon sugar.
Architect Victor Louis' neo-classical theater has a monumental façade with 12 Corinthian columns and a sweeping staircase that was the inspiration for the Palais Garnier in Paris. This and the Trianon at Versailles are the only original wooden theaters in France.
La Musée National des Douanes is France’s National Customs Museum. Located along the waterfront in an 18th-century palace at Place de la Bourse, the museum explores the wide-ranging arm of the customs service.
The best way to buy wine is to visit the small vineyards in the area. But if you just want to hit a shop with a varied inventory, try this huge warehouse, which carries nearly 1,000 selections from all over the region.
Bordeaux fussy and overpriced? Not at this bar run by the region’s wine council. Architect Françoise Bousquet has appointed the soaring Neoclassical space with whimsical pebble-shaped chairs and original artwork, including a grape-themed Aubusson tapestry.
Located northwest of Bordeaux proper, the Château Giscours winery is set on a hilltop in the commune of Labarde. The domaine started producing Margaux appellation wines in the 1500’s and today grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes.