May 16, 2022

Chefs and wine – Bordeaux’s shining stars

The latest stars of French Michelin are shining in the vineyards of Bordeaux.

March 22nd was an important date for French gastronomy this year. It was the announcement of the latest French Michelin guide ratings and Chefs in Bordeaux vineyards were in the spotlight.

Fine dining experiences

Amongst five restaurants in the Gironde region with a new star, one was in the vineyards, at Château Troplong Mondot in Saint Emilion. In 2019, the Château closed their award winning Les Belles Perdrix restaurant as they completely renovated their cellars. Last year, the restaurant reopened in a beautiful new space. The floor to ceiling windows opening over the vines brings the diner ever closer to the vineyard.

Chef David Charrier creates a cuisine in the same spirit of excellence that the wine makers bring to the wine. He sources his produce locally. Some from the permaculture vegetable garden he helped create in the grounds of the chateau. Others from trusted local suppliers. Reflecting this, he also won a Green Michelin Star for sustainable gastronomy this year. Actually one of only six new addresses across France to win this award.

Although not in the vineyard, l’Observatoire du Gabriel in Bordeaux and Le Logis de la Cadène in Saint-Emilion, both belong to Saint Emilion winery Château Angelus. They both kept their Michelin stars this year.

 

Best Of Wine Tourism shining stars

La Grand’Vigne, the restaurant at Five star Les Sources de Caudalie in the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte kept their two-star status this year.

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is known for its ‘bio-precision’ viticulture with respect for the environment at the core of its philosophy. The cuisine of Chef Nicolas Masse is part of this ecosystem. Using the chateau kitchen garden, he tries to express the terroir through his cuisine. As the wine maker does through the wine. He works closely with sommelier Aurélien Farrouil to create dishes that enhance the wines.

Meet the 2020 Best Of Wine Tourism winners of Bordeaux

© Château Lafaurie Peyraguey – Photo Credit

The shiniest vineyard star this year was the new second star awarded to The Lalique restaurant at Château Lafaurie Peyraguey in Sauternes. Chef Jérôme Schilling earned his first star in 2019, almost immediately after opening. He has precisely defined the aromatic profiles of all the wines from the Silvio Denz estates. And designs complete menus around these profiles to pair with them. He even has a plant-based menu, that perfectly complements the Sauternes from the chateau.

 

 

 

 

 

As fabulous as these tables are, you don’t have to opt for Michelin star dining in the Bordeaux vineyards, nor French cuisine.

Chef Taichi Sato joined Château Lagrange from Japan three years ago. He has spent these years learning about wine but also creating close relationships with local food producers. He now brings his unique Japanese training to the best regional products. Creating dishes that perfectly complement the wines of the property. The Orangery of the chateau has become the theatre for exclusive Teppan-Yaki experiences prepared and served by Sato.

© Château Malromé – Photo Credit

 

The restaurant at Château Malrome in the Entre deux Mers is called Les Abeilles, (The Bees), named after the 20 beehives, installed across the estate and a clue to the importance the chateau attaches to its natural environment. The Chef, Sébastien Piniello, chooses local and organic ingredients for a menu that showcases vegetables. He is constantly innovating to use every part of each fruit and vegetable, preferring to serve them raw or only lightly cooked to preserve all their goodness.

 

Picnic chic

If you prefer more casual dining, why not a French picnic in the Bordeaux vineyards?

Château de Cérons has created four different picnic menus, red, white, gold and orange, each one designed to use local produce to perfectly complement the diversity of their four styles of wine. The chef and the owner had a lot of fun designing these menus using local beef and charcuterie for the red menu, smoked trout from the Pyrenees for the white, foie gras for the golden wine of Cérons and spicey food to match their new orange wine, Coucher du Soleil. The picnics are served in the shade of the old magnolia trees in front of the 17th century classified chateau. An experience for all the senses.

Then, you can also picnic in the grounds of the old cloisters of Les Cordeliers in Saint Emilion. The medieval ruins and surrounding gardens offer a unique environment. Perfect spot to sip on the Crémant de Bordeaux (that is aged and fermented in the ancient limestone cellars underneath your feet).

The bar serves a full range of the wines by the glass or bottle along with picnic baskets that you can design yourself. Choose from local pâté, foie gras and cheeses with fresh baguette bread and don’t forget the organic ice cream. Their aim is to create a relaxed atmosphere and an experience as sparkling as their wines.

Terrace dining

Vineyards have such beautiful settings and dining on a chateau terrace overlooking the vines is a unique experience. Chateau Sigalas Rabaud in Sauternes offers a relaxed food and wine experience with a series of small hand-crafted dishes prepared to accompany the range of their dry and sweet white wines.  The chateau is also home to the beautifully renovated guest rooms. So, if you are staying over, be sure to try the coffee for breakfast. The beans are matured in old Sauternes barrels in the cellar, for an extra special flavour.

© Chateau George – Photo Credit

 

Later in the day, the terrace of Château George 7 in Fronsac is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset aperitif. Owner Sally Evans brings a unique Franco-British touch to her sunset tapas tastings. Or pop in for a home-cooked lunch in her funky upcycled tasting room. In fact,she is so keen to share her food and wine matching inspiration that she slips recipes cards in the cases of wine to inspire her clients.

Private dining

© Château Malartic Lagraviere – Photo Credit

Meanwhile, Château Malartic Lagravière in Pessac Léognan offers the complete range of dining experiences. they want to show how their wines adapt perfectly to every situation, from relaxed picnics to private chateau dinners.

They serve gourmet tapas on the winery terrace and a ‘Chic & British’ picnic under the shade of a tree on the lawn of the beautiful park, elegantly set up with garden furniture, deckchairs and blankets.

Moreover, the family also welcomes guests in the chateau for intimate private dining experiences. Where they share their personal food and wine pairing preferences. They are so passionate about this that they have published their own Bonnie Family recipe book. The château chef is happy to share how to prepare them in hands-on cooking workshops in the chateau.

 

 

 

 

Chefs in Bordeaux vineyards love to showcase the wines of the region. They create dishes and experiences from the rich array of local and traditional produce. Their approaches and the atmospheres they offer are as diverse as the wines of the region. There’s a food and wine experience for everyone. It’s also the Chefs’ passion that makes Bordeaux a Great Wine Capital !

 

Wendy Narby 

Insider Tasting