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The Graves region is considered the cradle of fine wine making in Bordeaux, the site of some of the oldest vineyards of the region. Just south of the city, it is also the perfect place to choose as a base from which to discover the wineries and châteaux of Bordeaux. In the centre of the left bank region, which stretches from Sauternes to Pauillac, it is close to both the airport and high-speed train station and just an hour from Saint Emilion.
Perfect then that the Château Pont Saint-Martin is in the heart of Pessac Léognan, the prestigious northern appellation within the Graves, and has now opened their doors to guests. In the village of Léognan, Chateau Pont Saint Martin is surrounded by some of the most famous names of the Pessac Léognan appellation, all close enough to discover using the bicycles from the property.
The chateau is a traditional Bordeaux Chartreuse style property, accessed by an elegant double stone staircase. So far so classic, but that's where tradition stops. The owners, the Rodrigues-Lalande family, have renovated the chateau in their unique style, with an eye-catching colour palette more reminiscent of Provence than classic Bordeaux.
The old winery has been converted into two modern guest rooms and two suites, all bright and light with windows overlooking the vines and parkland. Guests also have access to the outdoor pool and the indoor jacuzzi spa. The chateau itself, which is surrounded by a two ha wooded park with century old trees, also has a private suite.
The property is a working vineyard, belonging to the Rodrigues-Lalande family, whose passion for the Graves has lead them to own and run four vineyards in the appellation. José Rodrigues-Lalande is an oenologist and his wife an accountant specialised in vineyards, both are from local wine making families. Their first love was Chateau de Castres, an elegant 18th century château in the Graves, which they purchased in 1996. This was followed in 2004 by nearby Chateau Roche Lalande and in 2012, Chateau de Beau Site. Adding Chateau Pont Saint Martin to their portfolio in 2013 finally gave them the opportunity to welcome guests and clients to stay amongst their vines.
Guests of the property are of course invited to visit the winery, but what is unique is the possibility to taste the complete range of wines from Graves and Pessac Léognan produced by the family: white, red and rose. This is a master class in the styles and terroir of this ancient Bordeaux wine region, an educational as well as a pleasurable experience.
With this same sense of hospitality, the family also created a flexible entertaining space when they renovated the chateau. Their vast 120 square metre reception room can welcome over 100 guests for dinner, thanks to the professional kitchens. The space opens up onto a 180 terrace running into the two-hectare park. It is an idyllic setting for both private and professional events.
If you prefer something more intimate, the private salon and dining room in the chateau overlooking the park can also host up to 15 guests. Château Pont Saint Martin is a perfect base for groups, large and small, or just family and friends happy to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Graves vineyards but close to some of the Best of Bordeaux.
by Wendy Narby