Les Sources de Caudalie has been on my ‘must visit’ list for years and I finally made the pilgrimage in April for a 4 day weekend to Bordeaux, France. Not only is Les Sources a 4 star Small Luxury Hotels of the World location on a top Châteaux, Smith Haut Lafitte, in Bordeaux with spa, but not just any spa…THE spa focused on the wine and vine.

The Châteaux & The Wine
Located south of Bordeaux in the Graves region and town of Martillac, the story of Les Sources de Caudalie starts with the Châteaux. In Bordeaux the châteaux is the heart of the quality system consisting of a vineyard and a building, it symbolizes the tradition and philosophy of the wine quality. Grapes started growing in this soil in 1365, it was given its current name Smith Haut Lafitte in the 18th century by a Scotsman and was even once owned by the Mayor of Bordeaux in 1842.

But in 1990 Florence and Daniel Cathiard fell in love with the Châteaux and purchased it. They undertook a 2 year massive renovation reclaiming the two underground cellars, re-adopting traditional vinegrowing methods, stopping use of chemical weed killers, began hand harvesting the grapes and employed their own artisan barrelmaker who makes 400 of the 800 new barrels used each year. The results…55 acres of vines producing 2 red wines and 2 white wines, their ’98 production was named one of the top ten red wines in the world by Wine Spectator.

Our tour of the Châteaux gave us a behind the scenes look at this beautiful property and their wine making facilities. The care given to the grapes and the wine focuses on quality not quantity thus producing some of the best wine possible. We saw the barrel making shed (only 4 Châteaux in Bordeaux make their own) and after tasting the wines in the tasting room enjoyed a sneak peak of the private cellar (the floor literally opens up to let you in) which houses Smith Haut Lafitte wines from 1878 to 1989. Check out the photos from the tour.

A wine worth trying and a Châteaux to visit.

Coming tomorrow part 2, The Spa.