Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

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zana.khan
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Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by zana.khan » Fri May 20, 2016 5:08 am

Any suggestions on Chateaux in Bordeaux to visit for a wine newbe? I am travelling to Bordeaux for the first time this summer. I pretty much know nothing about wine (started reading though) but want to explore the region and learn. I want to visit some (non intimidating) chateaux, meet the wine makers try their lovely wines but don’t know where to start. I’m not looking to spend lots of money just learn, enjoy and eat and drink nice things with nice people. If it helps we’re staying in Fronsac. Thanks for your help!

Jeff Leve
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by Jeff Leve » Fri May 20, 2016 8:40 am

Hi Zana

Thank you for the post and question about how to visit Bordeaux. The first thing you need to do is read this article. It will answer most of your questions. After you have looked it over, please ask me any questions you have and I am sure I can help you plan a nice trip. http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/win ... e-tastings

derek mercer
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by derek mercer » Fri May 20, 2016 10:04 am

I too am visiting Bordeaux, with friends, for the first time next month and have found this site invaluable in helping to plan the few days we have to spend in and around the city.

My experience in contacting the chateaux that interested me the most as a result of what I had read here is as follows. I sent out requests for appointments almost 1 month ago. Pontet Canet and L'Evangile were very prompt in responding to my requests and have arranged to have us visit. Chateau Villemaurine was also very accommodating and we plan to spend some time there as well.

On the negative side none of La Dominique, Malescot-Exupery, Valandraud, and D'Issan have responded to my requests in any fashion. The first two of these I have contacted several times and have had nary a reply. This is disappointing given that I do have a fair number of their wines in my collection. We had hoped to visit 2 wineries on each of the 2 days available but as it stands we'll be quite happy with how it stands.

Thanks again Jeff for all of the useful information you've provided on this site.

Jeff Leve
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by Jeff Leve » Fri May 20, 2016 10:18 am

derek mercer wrote:I too am visiting Bordeaux, with friends, for the first time next month and have found this site invaluable in helping to plan the few days we have to spend in and around the city.

My experience in contacting the chateaux that interested me the most as a result of what I had read here is as follows. I sent out requests for appointments almost 1 month ago. Pontet Canet and L'Evangile were very prompt in responding to my requests and have arranged to have us visit. Chateau Villemaurine was also very accommodating and we plan to spend some time there as well.

On the negative side none of La Dominique, Malescot-Exupery, Valandraud, and D'Issan have responded to my requests in any fashion.
HI Derek

Thanks for the post, comments, question and nice words.

La Dominique is very welcoming. You should try them again. You can also call, but Email should work. They are very consumer friendly.

Malescot makes great wine, but they are not the best at Email. responses. Even to me! In the office they are mostly French speaking. I think they take visitors not in the trade, but I am not sure.

There is no place for you to visit Valandraud.

Looking at your list of chateau you have appointments at, I'd seek to visit other chateau in the same area. Pauillac is just a stones throw from St. Estephe and St. Julien. St. Emilion and Pomerol and are next to each other.

I hope this helps...

When are you going to be there?

I am not sure about visits to d'Issan, but I would call if they do not answer your Email.

derek mercer
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by derek mercer » Fri May 20, 2016 10:29 am

Hi Jeff, we will be in Bordeaux from June 12th to the 15th with 2 of those days set aside for travel around the wine regions. Are there any particular chateau from St Estephe or St Julien that you would recommend as I would like to be able to visit another site in addition to Pontet Canet.

Do you think it would make a difference if I make the request in French rather than English?

Jeff Leve
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by Jeff Leve » Fri May 20, 2016 10:39 am

derek mercer wrote:Hi Jeff, we will be in Bordeaux from June 12th to the 15th with 2 of those days set aside for travel around the wine regions. Are there any particular chateau from St Estephe or St Julien that you would recommend as I would like to be able to visit another site in addition to Pontet Canet.

Do you think it would make a difference if I make the request in French rather than English?
If your French is fluent, I am not sure if it will help, but it cannot hurt. But with Malescot, the office staff is small and they are really not the best at Emails. Great wine though!

My best advice as to which chateau to visit in Bordeaux is, try to go to the places that make the wine you buy and love. That will give you a good connection and a better experience on your visit. There really are very few dud visits in Bordeaux and most chateaux are welcoming to visitors.

Mid June should be a good time to visit. I hope you post about the trip and add a few pictures too!

zana.khan
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by zana.khan » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:07 am

Jeff Leve wrote:Hi Zana

Thank you for the post and question about how to visit Bordeaux. The first thing you need to do is read this article. It will answer most of your questions. After you have looked it over, please ask me any questions you have and I am sure I can help you plan a nice trip. http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/win ... e-tastings
Thanks Jeff. I've read the article but still struggling as there are so many chateaux to potentially visit. Picking a few isn't easy. Ideally if you could recommend a few within a reasonable distance of Fronsac that would be great. I can then contact them and see whether I can book in. I don't want to do too much - so perhaps one maybe 2 a day. Thanks again. Zana

Jeff Leve
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by Jeff Leve » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:13 am

Zana... For ideas on chateau to visit in Fronsac, please see this page on Fronsac http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bor ... -listings/

Also, Fronsac is close to St. Emilion, for ideas on where to visit in Saint Emilion, please see http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bor ... t-emilion/

Howard Cooper
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Re: Wine newbe visiting Bordeaux

Post by Howard Cooper » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:19 am

When I went to Bordeaux a couple of years ago, I hired a driver to take me around and make appointments for me. Some of my favorite visits were Ducru Beaucaillou, Domaine de Chevalier, Haut Brion, and d'Yquem. Of interest, Clinet's promotional materials quoted Jeff's reviews. For a less expensive wine, du Tertre was interesting.

As a newbie, you might consider hiring someone who could help you navigate around. Here is the guy we hired. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRev ... taine.html To be fair, the first review is mine.

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