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Cheers To Bordeaux In 2012

Neil Sowerby’s perfect French mini-breaks (with wine, of course)

Written by . Published on February 7th 2012.


Cheers To Bordeaux In 2012

JUST a short flight away from the UK, Bordeaux is perfect for a wine lover’s mini-break. The French city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a host of events in 2012. 

On certain weekends châteaux in different Bordeaux appellations open their doors to welcome visitors to tour their properties and taste their wines. The dates for the 2012 Portes Ouvertes (literally translated as “Open Doors”) and other events have now been released.


Here are our picks:

2. Vignoble Des Côtes De Bourg À Lansac Salons des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants (9-11 March) Visitors to the Parc des Expositions (just outside Bordeaux city) can meet 250 independent winemakers from all over France. www.vigneron-independant.com

Printemps des Châteaux – Portes Ouvertes en Médoc (31 March-1 April) Along the 'châteaux route' from Bordeaux to the Pointe de Grave, which includes ultra-modern cellars as well as more traditional properties, the Médoc opens its doors to the public and presents its wines and gastronomy. www.pauillac-medoc.com

Printemps des Liquoreux à Cadillac (14-15 April) Sweet wine tastings. www.sweetbordeaux.com

Portes Ouvertes in Saint Emilion (28 & 30 April) Wine lovers can explore the medieval town, attend classes at the Saint-Émilion Maison du Vin Wine School and walk through some of the vineyard routes. www.maisonduvinsaintemilion.com

Marathon De MeocMarathon De Medoc

Marathon des Vins de Blaye (12 May) Annual race passes twelve châteaux and includes more than 30 wine tastings along the route (optional, of course). The final 195m are run on a red carpet up to the Dauphine Gate of the Citadelle de Blaye. www.marathondeblaye.com).

Weekend Des Grands Crus (12-13 May) Tasting of more than 100 Grand Cru wines, presented by their creators, under one roof in the heart of the Bordeaux appellations. Visitors can also book to attend various châteaux dinners and vineyard tours. www.ugcb.net

Cycling In The VineyardsCycling In The Vineyards

“Médocaine” for Mountain Bikes (26 May) Takes place in Margaux and its surroundings. A mountain bike race through the Margaux vineyards not to be missed. www.medocainevtt.com

Fete Du VinFete Du Vin

Bordeaux Fête le Vin (28 June - 1 July) Biennial Bordeaux Wine Festival. Includes a 'wine road' where visitors can taste and learn about Bordeaux wines; workshops led by the city’s own École du Vin; a music festival and nightly light and sound shows. www.bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com

 

More Information

Getting acclimatised:
Visit the Bar à Vin, situated below the Wine School (the École du Vin) with classes in English by local wine experts. Sample new wines in a wonderful setting.

Where to stay:
Maison Fredon is a newly renovated 18th century building, which is opening as a B&B in the old district of Bordeaux opposite the owner’s acclaimed restaurant, La Tupina. Five spacious rooms with high ceilings and French fireplaces priced between €180-250 per room (breakfast is an extra €20).

Where to eat (new restaurants):
La Tour des Chartrons:
Modern bistro plus bar with panoramic views.

Wine & Soul: A bar and restaurant with a Spanish chef and more than 250 wines, plus monthly live music nights. 23 rue du Couvent – 33000 Bordeaux, +33 5 57 77 09 86

La Fayencerie: Based in a former porcelain shop, chef Philippe Gauffre is today recognised in Bordeaux for his use of ingredients.

Fuxia: An Italian restaurant and deli with a lounge for tea and cake, a cocktail bar and a terrace with olive trees.

L’Oiseau Bleu: Sophie and Frederick Lafon chose an old police station for this restaurant, which after much work is now a contemporary and elegant venue, with two rooms and a terrace at the rear.

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