There’s no better way to get to explore Bordeaux wine than being there in person! Last spring during our long weekend trip, I was able to try 30 wines from 14 of the 60 AOCs/regions. Here are the MUST GO’s once you’re there.
LaÂ Winery, “A New Approach to Wine,” is an ‘everything wine’ spot north of Bordeaux outside of Arsac. Philippe Raoux, a winegrower and trader in Bordeaux, opened it in 2007 … “What we want to do is experiment, never stop, not keep doing what we did yesterday.”
Their Le Signe OenologiqueÂ®, or Wine Sign, is what drew me to La Winery. In this 45 minute blind tasting of six wines, “you’ll discover the style of wine you prefer, the keys to your own taste and your Wine Sign.” Candice was our guide and led us through their tasting steps of look, smell and taste. We tasted two white wines and four red wines, all French, answering a question about our preference of each on little hand held devices. In between each tasting was a question about other preferences of food, tastes, etc… We learned a couple of cool tasting tips from Candice in the process. First, the ‘legs’ on the glass when you swirl the wine help you identify the body and alcohol percent. The thicker the legs, the higher the alcohol percent. Second, color helps you identify the age. As red wines age they turn more brown orange in color. Paler white wines are younger. Then Candice goes away, tallies the results and brings you out your Wine Sign booklet. There are eight wine signs…mine is “Refined with ascending Sensual.” I “look for purity, typical character and aromatic complexity in my wine, an unusual bouquet and even deep sometimes surprising tastes.” Right on! In three and a half years, they’ve done 13,000 signs.
After your tasting, put your Wine Sign to work exploring Winery’s Cave which features over 1,001 wines from France and around the world. Your Wine Sign booklet suggests wines you would like from their cellar and they even make a wine for each sign.
Still more exploring to do at the Wine Bar. Sommelier Vincent led me through a wine flight of Bordeaux wines. He pulled out the map to show me where each one was produced as he explained the wine and the terrior in which it is created!
La Winery also has a restaurant, vineyard tours and event space. When getting there, leave a little extra time as its slightly hard to find but definitely worth the visit!
The Bordeaux Wine Council is a wealth of information. In all my wine exploration, I’ve never seen a wine region make wine so approachable and offer so many resources.
- Bar Ä Vin (3, cours du XXX Juillet) is their wine bar across from the Tourism Office (another great resource and must stop). It was named one of the best wine bars in Europe last spring by by Travel & Leisure. You can sampling lots of wine from throughout the region for only €3 per glass, enjoy nibbles to pair with your wine and a beautiful interior design with walls full of wine bottles and stain glass art of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine.
- Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin, the Bordeaux Wine School, offers classes throughout the year for beginners to connoisseurs.
- Bordeaux Wine Trails: Last but not least, you can drive the roads of Bordeaux and stop at wineries along the way. The Bordeaux Wine Council guides you on five wine roads across the region. Check out their site or pick up a guide book at the Tourism Office.
Before you go, or if you can’t get there in person, check out my posts on Simplifying the Complex World of Bordeaux Wine. Either way let us know your favorite! 🙂