Bordeaux First Growths at a private wine chateau

Chateau Pichon-Longueville
France can be the most rewarding destination when your tour has superb visits, tastings at great estates and fantastic dining.

Bordeaux First Growths at a private wine chateau
24 - 28 Nov 2014

Join us on this memorable tour on a journey to visit the First Growths, as well as other specially selected out-performing chateaux. Our base for the first three nights is a beautiful Second Classified Growth wine chateau in Pauillac with fairy tale turrets. This is not a hotel and not open to the general public, so is a privileged invitation to Arblaster & Clarke’s Bordeaux-loving clientele.

 

£3,695 per person

Sole Occupancy: £1500.00
Deposit: £750 per person
Click here to enquire about this tour

We begin with a visit of the cellars and a welcome dinner in the elegant dining room.

In the illustrious commune of Pauillac our first morning is spent visiting the newly refurbished cellars at Château Mouton-Rothschild. To follow we are invited to lunch at the ultra-modern winery at Château Cos d’Estournel, where we will taste their wines to accompany the meal. In the afternoon we will visit the esteemed Château Lafite-Rothschild. This is a picture-postcard chateau with a beautiful garden and mirror lake, the ideal setting for tasting these first class wines rated amongst the best for quality in the world. Listed at the top of the 1855 First Growth classification, the name comes from the local dialect word “fite” (mound), and indeed at 27 metres as it is one of the highest placed vineyards in Pauillac. If one were to choose one adjective for the wines of Lafite, it would surely be elegant.

Dinner that evening, will be at Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. The wines have always had great finesse and breed. The fact that part of the vineyard lies in St Julien helps to give the wine a special character, more opulent and feminine than a Pauillac, but richer than a St Julien. The introduction of the Réserve de Comtesse has led to a more rigorous selection and a corresponding rise in quality. 

After breakfast at our private château, we have the chance to visit Château Palmer. Palmer have of course produced monumental wines for generations and were at in the middle of the 20th Century considered by many to be the top chateau in Margaux. Following the visit and tasting, we are invited to Château Rauzan-Ségla also in Margaux, for lunch and a tasting of their wines. The afternoon visit is to Château Latour, 1er Cru Classé, Pauillac for a tasting of their wines to experience the legendary characteristics: its great depth of colour, a classic Cabernet nose and remarkable concentration of fruit and tannin. After this we return to Château Pichon where our wine guide, a knowledgeable wine writer or widely respected authority on Bordeaux, will host a private tasting hosted in the early evening.

Table service in Bordeaux Chateau Y'Quem, Bordeaux The town of St.Emilion, Bordeaux

We leave the left bank, calling in en route at Château Haut-Brion in the Pessac-Léognan appellation within the Graves. This is the only estate outside the Médoc to feature in the 1855 classification of red wines and is undoubtedly one of the oldest wine-producing châteaux in the entire region, which has been exporting to the UK since the 15th century. We continue to St Emilion where we will have time to explore this beautiful UNESCO town with its wonderful cobbled streets and fantastic views over the vineyards. 

In the afternoon we taste at Château Canon-la-Gafféliere, one of the finest growths of St Emilion. Tonight we dine at one of the Premier Grand Crus of St Emilion, one of only two chateaux to be promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe A in the reclassification of 2012, and stay in a 4* chateau-hotel for our last evening.

On our last morning, we will travel a short way south to the appellation of Sauternes for a very special visit and tasting of the magnificent sweet wines of Château d'Yquem, so wonderful that they got their very own classification in 1855. No property in France dominates its appellation in the way that d’Yquem dominates Sauternes. Our last visit of this very special tour will be at Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan, who are making both whites and reds of exceptional quality and finesse.
 
This outstanding line up of visits, together with the added experience of staying in a Second Classified Growth chateau on the Left Bank is something clients on a similar tour rated as extremely memorable. Due to the limited nature of the rooms at our private wine producing chateau, the maximum party size is merely 10 participants, so this is genuinely small party tour. 

NB: Given the long lead time of our organisation of these tours, the chateaux have agreed to see us in principle, however should any of the first growth chateaux be in building works, we will arrange tastings of their wines at our chateau accommodation.

Outline Itinerary
Day 1. Monday 24 November

Meet at Bordeaux Airport from BA afternoon flight. Dinner at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron. Overnight at wine producing château, Pauillac.

Day 2. Tuesday 25 November

Morning visit in Pauillac. Lunch at a Wine Chateau in St Estephe. Afternoon wine visit in Pauillac. Dinner at chateau in Pauillac. Overnight at wine producing château, Pauillac.

Day 3. Wednesday 26 November

Morning visit in Pauillac. Lunch at a Wine Chateau in Margaux. Visit in Margaux. Non-Included dinner. Overnight at wine producing château, Pauillac.

Day 4. Thursday 27 November

Morning visit in Pessac-Léognan. Free time in St Émilion. Dinner at Wine chateau in St Émilion. Overnight 4* chateau hotel, St Émilion.

Day 5. Friday 28 November

Morning visit in Sauternes. Visit in Pessac-Léognan followed by lunch. Transfer to Bordeaux airport in time for BA flight.

Price includes:
  • 3 nights private chateau (4* equivalent, not officially rated), 1 night 4* chateau hotel, breakfasts.
  • 6 meals, with wines.
  • Visits & tastings.
  • Small luxury coach for the itinerary and for one specified pick up and drop off at the start and end of the tour.
  • Charles Metcalfe as Arblaster & Clarke Wine Guide.
  • Arblaster & Clarke Tour Manager.

The maximum party size is just 11.

Please note: These are all chateaux at which Arblaster & Clarke wine tours have been welcomed at in the past and as long as the proposed building works are completed, we do not anticipate any major changes to the programme. However the chateaux are not in a position to confirm visits until later in the year.

Accommodation
Private chateau

Our accommodation for the first 3 nights of the tour is a notable landmark on the Route des Châteaux on the Left Bank. This is a private chateau, rather than a hotel and if you love the idea of being in a world famous wine chateau, with the key to the front door, this is for you. It is more like staying at a friend’s house than at a hotel as there is no staff overnight. Rooms are serviced and beds made in the morning. There is no evening turn down or room service. All rooms are comfortable double/twin decorated traditional French chateau style bathrooms have claw footed baths and a hand-held shower. These however are high off the ground and not easy to get into, so not suitable if you have mobility problems. There are spacious comfortable lounges, a French billiard table and an elegant dining table.  Breakfasts are simple traditional French breakfasts, not copious buffets. The chateau is a second classed growth of Bordeaux with fairy-tale turrets and a beautiful mirror-like lake. We are very privileged to stay here during this tour as private guests of the Chateau.

Travel

The flights are not included on this tour in order to give you total flexibility of when you arrive. We are very happy to quote on the main scheduled airlines, and to book these for you.

Getting to Bordeaux by plane. You can either take one of the regular direct flights from London or there are also flights from regional UK airports. There are a number of different operators who now fly direct to Bordeaux.

Getting to Bordeaux by Train. There is an excellent train service from Paris to Bordeaux that runs very regularly and takes approximately 3.5 hours, so you could get the Eurostar to Paris and TGV to Bordeaux.

Getting to Bordeaux by Car. If you would like to drive to the region, there are plenty hotels in Bordeaux that also have car parks where you can leave your car. If you do decide to drive you could stop off in the Loire and buy more wine!

Images

Tour description

We begin with a visit of the cellars and a welcome dinner in the elegant dining room.

In the illustrious commune of Pauillac our first morning is spent visiting the newly refurbished cellars at Château Mouton-Rothschild. To follow we are invited to lunch at the ultra-modern winery at Château Cos d’Estournel, where we will taste their wines to accompany the meal. In the afternoon we will visit the esteemed Château Lafite-Rothschild. This is a picture-postcard chateau with a beautiful garden and mirror lake, the ideal setting for tasting these first class wines rated amongst the best for quality in the world. Listed at the top of the 1855 First Growth classification, the name comes from the local dialect word “fite” (mound), and indeed at 27 metres as it is one of the highest placed vineyards in Pauillac. If one were to choose one adjective for the wines of Lafite, it would surely be elegant.

Dinner that evening, will be at Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. The wines have always had great finesse and breed. The fact that part of the vineyard lies in St Julien helps to give the wine a special character, more opulent and feminine than a Pauillac, but richer than a St Julien. The introduction of the Réserve de Comtesse has led to a more rigorous selection and a corresponding rise in quality. 

After breakfast at our private château, we have the chance to visit Château Palmer. Palmer have of course produced monumental wines for generations and were at in the middle of the 20th Century considered by many to be the top chateau in Margaux. Following the visit and tasting, we are invited to Château Rauzan-Ségla also in Margaux, for lunch and a tasting of their wines. The afternoon visit is to Château Latour, 1er Cru Classé, Pauillac for a tasting of their wines to experience the legendary characteristics: its great depth of colour, a classic Cabernet nose and remarkable concentration of fruit and tannin. After this we return to Château Pichon where our wine guide, a knowledgeable wine writer or widely respected authority on Bordeaux, will host a private tasting hosted in the early evening.

Table service in Bordeaux Chateau Y'Quem, Bordeaux The town of St.Emilion, Bordeaux

We leave the left bank, calling in en route at Château Haut-Brion in the Pessac-Léognan appellation within the Graves. This is the only estate outside the Médoc to feature in the 1855 classification of red wines and is undoubtedly one of the oldest wine-producing châteaux in the entire region, which has been exporting to the UK since the 15th century. We continue to St Emilion where we will have time to explore this beautiful UNESCO town with its wonderful cobbled streets and fantastic views over the vineyards. 

In the afternoon we taste at Château Canon-la-Gafféliere, one of the finest growths of St Emilion. Tonight we dine at one of the Premier Grand Crus of St Emilion, one of only two chateaux to be promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe A in the reclassification of 2012, and stay in a 4* chateau-hotel for our last evening.

On our last morning, we will travel a short way south to the appellation of Sauternes for a very special visit and tasting of the magnificent sweet wines of Château d'Yquem, so wonderful that they got their very own classification in 1855. No property in France dominates its appellation in the way that d’Yquem dominates Sauternes. Our last visit of this very special tour will be at Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan, who are making both whites and reds of exceptional quality and finesse.
 
This outstanding line up of visits, together with the added experience of staying in a Second Classified Growth chateau on the Left Bank is something clients on a similar tour rated as extremely memorable. Due to the limited nature of the rooms at our private wine producing chateau, the maximum party size is merely 10 participants, so this is genuinely small party tour. 

NB: Given the long lead time of our organisation of these tours, the chateaux have agreed to see us in principle, however should any of the first growth chateaux be in building works, we will arrange tastings of their wines at our chateau accommodation.

Outline Itinerary & What's included

Outline Itinerary
Day 1. Monday 24 November

Meet at Bordeaux Airport from BA afternoon flight. Dinner at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron. Overnight at wine producing château, Pauillac.

Day 2. Tuesday 25 November

Morning visit in Pauillac. Lunch at a Wine Chateau in St Estephe. Afternoon wine visit in Pauillac. Dinner at chateau in Pauillac. Overnight at wine producing château, Pauillac.

Day 3. Wednesday 26 November

Morning visit in Pauillac. Lunch at a Wine Chateau in Margaux. Visit in Margaux. Non-Included dinner. Overnight at wine producing château, Pauillac.

Day 4. Thursday 27 November

Morning visit in Pessac-Léognan. Free time in St Émilion. Dinner at Wine chateau in St Émilion. Overnight 4* chateau hotel, St Émilion.

Day 5. Friday 28 November

Morning visit in Sauternes. Visit in Pessac-Léognan followed by lunch. Transfer to Bordeaux airport in time for BA flight.

Price includes:
  • 3 nights private chateau (4* equivalent, not officially rated), 1 night 4* chateau hotel, breakfasts.
  • 6 meals, with wines.
  • Visits & tastings.
  • Small luxury coach for the itinerary and for one specified pick up and drop off at the start and end of the tour.
  • Charles Metcalfe as Arblaster & Clarke Wine Guide.
  • Arblaster & Clarke Tour Manager.

The maximum party size is just 11.

Please note: These are all chateaux at which Arblaster & Clarke wine tours have been welcomed at in the past and as long as the proposed building works are completed, we do not anticipate any major changes to the programme. However the chateaux are not in a position to confirm visits until later in the year.

Travel & Accommodation

Accommodation
Private chateau

Our accommodation for the first 3 nights of the tour is a notable landmark on the Route des Châteaux on the Left Bank. This is a private chateau, rather than a hotel and if you love the idea of being in a world famous wine chateau, with the key to the front door, this is for you. It is more like staying at a friend’s house than at a hotel as there is no staff overnight. Rooms are serviced and beds made in the morning. There is no evening turn down or room service. All rooms are comfortable double/twin decorated traditional French chateau style bathrooms have claw footed baths and a hand-held shower. These however are high off the ground and not easy to get into, so not suitable if you have mobility problems. There are spacious comfortable lounges, a French billiard table and an elegant dining table.  Breakfasts are simple traditional French breakfasts, not copious buffets. The chateau is a second classed growth of Bordeaux with fairy-tale turrets and a beautiful mirror-like lake. We are very privileged to stay here during this tour as private guests of the Chateau.

Travel

The flights are not included on this tour in order to give you total flexibility of when you arrive. We are very happy to quote on the main scheduled airlines, and to book these for you.

Getting to Bordeaux by plane. You can either take one of the regular direct flights from London or there are also flights from regional UK airports. There are a number of different operators who now fly direct to Bordeaux.

Getting to Bordeaux by Train. There is an excellent train service from Paris to Bordeaux that runs very regularly and takes approximately 3.5 hours, so you could get the Eurostar to Paris and TGV to Bordeaux.

Getting to Bordeaux by Car. If you would like to drive to the region, there are plenty hotels in Bordeaux that also have car parks where you can leave your car. If you do decide to drive you could stop off in the Loire and buy more wine!

Image Gallery & Videos

None

 

Any questions?
Please call us!

We are very happy to talk to you about our wonderful holidays. We love our tours and are sure you will too!

0044 (0)1730 263111

Wine guide

Stephen Brook
Stephen Brook
More about Stephen Brook

Stephen Brook is a leading expert on Bordeaux and other wine regions of France and is a distinguished wine writer. He also writes about many other subjects such as travel, which he writes about from a guide book perspective and from more personal accounts. Stephen is also an award-winning journalist and has been a guest judge at many wine competitions.

Feedback on our tours

  • "I wanted to write and let you know how much my friends and I enjoyed the recent tour. Everything was immensely well organised and we thought that the choice of chateaux was excellent with a most interesting range."

  • "We thought the selection of chateaux was excellent, enabling us to sample a variety of wines and to see some contrasting producers. There was a superb guide, teaching us a great deal about wine and making sure everyone was comfortable. We can't think of any way the trip could have been improved!"

  • "My friends and I would like to thank you for organizing such a wonderful trip. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and will be telling all our friends and family. Thank you again!"