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Oct 19, 2022

Let the chateaux prepare your Christmas fun in Bordeaux

Winter is a great season to visit Bordeaux vineyards, the wines are all tucked up in the barrel cellars post-harvest and wine makers are much more available to meet and greet you.

Did you know that all the letters addressed to ‘pere noel’ from French children arrive in Libourne ? Indeed ! Right at the centre of the on the Saint Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac appellations ! For the last 60 years, busy Libournais elves have replied to over a million children’s letters every year. Let’s see what Christmas in Bordeaux looks like !

The city centre of Bordeaux always dresses up for Christmas. You will find spectacular lights and a Christmas market that sets the festive tone. From elegant chateau dining rooms to a rustic country kitchens or fun wine bars. Bordeaux properties offer made-to-measure private experiences for small or large groups. You’ll find fires blazing in the grates and discover seasonal dishes. Amazing food served to match the wines and to inspire your own festive table. The festive season in Bordeaux is the perfect time and place to meet up with friends and family.

Why not outsource the strain of pre-Christmas events? Private tables in châteaux with in-house chefs are a great way to entertain for your end of year celebrations.

 

On the right bank

©Le George 7

 

At Château George 7 in Fronsac, the 2022 architect and landscape winner, owner Sally is famous for the warm hospitality and delicious homemade platters in her wine bar. At the end of the year, she adds a seasonal twist with homemade specialties designed to match her Merlot wines… Little spoiler; it includes mince pies, a nod to her British origins !

 

 

©Guillaume de Tapol

Nearby Château de Ferrand in Saint Emilion a newly Art & Culture Best Of Wine Tourism winner, unsurprising given the magnificent 17th architecture that has been beautifully renovated, designed to receive guests as well as make great wine. With their in-house chef they offer private table dining experiences. Intimate groups are welcome in the contemporary dining room surrounded by art works from the BIC Art Collection. Bigger parties can enjoy the exceptional orangery that welcomes over 60 guests.

 

 

 

 

And sparkle is also in the glass here. Did you know Bordeaux produces a Crémant wine? And every festive event needs bubbles. In the cellars underneath the 13th century Cloître des Cordeliers in Saint Emilion, thousands of bottles age for this ‘méthode traditionnelle’ wine. For the winter months the tasting bar comes inside from the cloisters. Sit onto the mezzanine of the recently renovated chapel, to taste in a unique atmosphere !

 

Near Bordeaux city center

 

©Château Smith haut Lafitte

Château Haut Bailly were the pioneers of the private table concept in Bordeaux, their elegant dining room still offers a unique and intimate experience. Now, you can also privatize their neighbouring Chateau Le Pape for a unique seasonal get away, staying in the five cosy guest rooms.  It might be a bit chilly in the winter to use the outdoor pool but walks in the surrounding vineyards and woods of the Graves are a great way to walk off lunch. Take a stroll through the Land Art installation La Fôret des Senses at neighbouring Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte to stimulate the and mind as well as the body.

 

 

Around Sauternes

 

A Bordeaux Christmas isn’t complete without a taste of the luscious, sweet wines of the region. Roast poultry with Sauternes is a traditional matching and rare treat if you’ve never tried it.

 

©Château Sigalas-Rabaud

Here too, further south, you can create a unique get away. Privatise Chateau Sigalas Rabaud, the smallest 1er Grand Cru Classé of Sauternes and Regional Winner in 2022. The recent renovation of their five guests rooms offers a uniquely sophisticated family atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To add a little sparkle to your festive gathering visit neighbouring Château Lafaurie Peyrageuy where the Lalique hotel and restaurant literally glitters with  crystal. Their boutique offers beautiful Christmas gift inspiration. Choose the gift of a combination of wine and crystal with their signature bottle adorned with a René Lalique motive or perhaps one of the unique handblown crystal decanters filled with golden Sauternes.

 

 

On the left bank

 

Don’t forget the majestic Médoc, home to some of the most famous names in the wine world and some of the most prestigious bottles that would grace any festive table. Here too private tables welcome you from north to south. From Château Phelan Ségur in Saint Estèphe, where chef Jean-Luc Beaufils champions regional specialties, to the teppanyaki table in the orangery of Château Lagrange in Saint Julien or the restaurant at Château Marquis de Terme in Margaux. You can stay over too, privatise Château Malescasse, where contemporary guest rooms always offer a warm winter welcome.

 

With so many places to choose from to the celebrate the festivities, you just might have to come back again later in the year.

 

Wendy Narby

Insider Tasting