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By Wendy Narby
Perfectly placed just half an hour from the city of Bordeaux, yet in the heart of the vineyards of Pessac Léognan, Château Le Pape is an ideal central base from which to discover the Bordeaux vineyards.
The Wilmers family, who also own neighbouring Grand Cru Classé Château Haut Bailly, purchased Le Pape in 2012. They spent three years renovating this 19th gem opening their doors to guests in 2015.
Château Haut Bailly is an innovator and leader in Bordeaux wine tourism. Their 'Table Privée' offering meals in the private dining room of the Chateau was nominated for the Best of Wine Tourism award for restaurants in 2016 and their boutique won the services Golden Best Of Wine Tourism in 2009. So it's not surprising this same team have done such an amazing job, now winning the 2018 Best Of Wine Tourism award for accommodation at Château Le Pape.
Using local architects and specialist craftsmen they added a second tower, bringing symmetry to the 18th century style of this chartreuse - the typical Bordeaux architectural style with rooms running across the chateau giving a unique light. A large terrace now overlooks the newly landscaped gardens and swimming pool and Parisian interior designer Patrice Terrin has created a haven for their guests.
The accommodation at Le Pape consists of one suite and four charming bedrooms, the cutest of which are up under the eaves. There is an elegant dining room for breakfasts and dinners, specially prepared by Jean-Charles Poinsot, the chef at Chateau Haut Bailly.
The heated pool and chateau bicycles will allow you to work off the calories and to discover the neighbouring vineyards, including Chateau Haut Bailly, where guests can visit the wine cellar to understand how the wines are made and aged before tasting them. The chateau shop sells everything from the wines to books and all sorts of tempting wine paraphernalia and guests can also dine at 'La Table Privée’ de Château Haut Bailly and use the hi-tech conference facilities there.
Pessac Léognan is the historic cradle of Bordeaux wine production and Château Le Pape is at the heart of ten hectares of which nine produce the wine of the property. Unusually for the appellation, Château le Pape produces uniquely red wine, just like it's big brother Classified growth Château Haut Bailly, whose technical team produce the wine. The wines can be tasted from the 'vinotech' back at Château Le Pape or selected to accompany dinner.
Chateau Le Pape offers a unique French chateau experience, relaxed and accessible, the ideal place to stay for your Bordeaux Wine tour.