9.15am - Meet your guide in front of the Bordeaux Tourism Office
9.30am Depart from Bordeaux
10.30am Visit & wine tasting at 1st winery
12.00pm Visit & wine tasting at 2nd winery
1.00pm Free time for lunch and personal discovery
2.30pm Walking tour in the village
3.30pm Visit and wine tasting at 3rd winery
5.30pm return to Bordeaux
Important information: Since we work with a very large number of wineries and that every visit is by appointment only, the timing of the winery visits in the program above is subject to change. This itinerary is the most common however.
This Saint Emilion full day tour from Bordeaux offers a day of carefully chosen wine tasting sessions, Bordeaux vineyard visits and a tour of a unique medieval village.
Pick up at a centrally located meeting point in Bordeaux
This morning, we will come and pick you up in front of the Bordeaux Tourism Office. The Bordeaux tourist office is located at 12 cours du 30 Juillet, 33000 BORDEAUX, in the heart of the city, facing the CIVB Bordeaux wine syndicat building. The tourism office is located close to all the hotels located in the city center, usually a maximum 10 minutes walking distance.
If your hotel is located slightly on the outskirts of the historical center (train station, Radisson Blu,
Hilton Garden Inn), then the ideal solution is to take the Tram and stop at Quinconces tram station.
This stop is located just next to the Bordeaux tourism office.
Please be on time as winery visits are pre-booked just for us!
For all our shared day trips from Bordeaux, we ask our clients to be present 10 minutes before departure time. It is important to be on time as Bordeaux wine tours imply strict timing as all the wineries visited have been pre-booked especially for our clients. Due to this, all our tours must leave on time to meet this schedule. In Bordeaux, unlike many other wine destinations, it is not possible to just show up at a winery for a tour, especially for the wineries that are highly demanded.
If you think that you might be late, please contact us rapidly by sms, phone or email so that we can advise the driver/guide to wait. However, waiting time is limited to 10 minutes maximum. If you are not present at the time of departure, your reservation will be considered as a no show and will not be refunded!
Meet your English speaking driver/guide - who is a local Expert on Bordeaux Wines
Upon arrival at the meeting point, you will be welcomed by your English speaking guide who will be waiting with a sign bearing the name of the tour and with the Ophorus logo on it. Also, all our guides have a nominative badge so that it will be easy for you to recognize them.
Once you have met your guide, he/she will go over the program and itinerary of the day with you. Then, board your comfortable, air conditioned Mercedes minivan and begin to make your way to the Saint Emilion wine producing region.
All our vehicles are equipped with an on board P/A system which means that everyone will hear the guide's commentary during driving time, even if you are seated in the back of the van! Also, we have bottled water at your disposal and you can use our free wifi as you travel from one destination to another.
Morning - Visit and commented wine tastings in 2 wineries
If you are only staying a few days in Bordeaux then this small group wine tour is for you. It covers a full day of visits starting in the morning with a scenic drive from Bordeaux through the vineyards and rolling hills of the St Emilion wine producing region located on the right bank. Before visiting the UNESCO world heritage site of Saint Emilion village, the wine tour kicks off in the surrounding countryside with a visit and wine tasting session in 2 Classified Growth Chateaus of the right bank.
Not included in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines, saint émilion wines have their own system that includes top rated Premier Grand Cru Classé wines such as Château Cheval Blanc, Chateau Ausone, Chateau Pavie or Chateau Angelus. Petrus is not classified as it is a winery located in the Pomerol appellation and the wines there do not have a classification. All wineries visited during our tours are at least Grand Cru classified.
After a short driver of about an hour, reach your first stop at a selected Grand Cru Winery. All winery tours in Bordeaux include the visit of the technical installations first. This is where a local guide of the winery will go through the wine making process so that you can better understand how from a complex blending of different grape varieties and storage in oak barrels the local wineries obtain one of the world's most delicious wines.
A second Chateau is on your program this morning. Again, after the visit of the property and the installations, you will participate in a commented tasting of the Chateau wines. All our Bordeaux wine tastings are commented on by the local guide of the winery. However, your driver/guide who will be with you throughout the day is also there to answer any questions that you might have.
All our driver/guides have great knowledge about wines and they will be happy to share any basic or more technical information concerning French or Bordeaux Wines. Whether you have questions about history, technique, flavors, aromas, food & wine pairings don't hesitate to ask them anything that relates to wine to make this day a very special one.
Then arrive in the village of Saint Emilion
After the morning guided visits and wine tastings at Classified Growth Château, move on with your English-speaking driver tour guide to the gorgeous village of Saint Emilion itself. The village of Saint Emilion is named after a monk who left his region of origin and settled down in the area hundreds of years ago. The village is a rare example of a largely intact medieval town whose geography has not been modified over the centuries.
Here, you will enjoy a short walking tour taking in important historical sites like the Romanesque cloister and the monolithic church carved into the limestone cliffs (also known as the underground monuments – not included in the tour). Following the village tour, enjoy some free time to explore on your own.
This is also the time for a relaxing lunch in the village. Saint Emilion offers a very large selection of restaurants and snacks. Depending on your budget, your guide will be able to suggest the best possible option for your meal. Please note however that due to strict timing for the winery visits, we suggest that you opt for a light lunch that will not be time consuming. This is also a great option if you really want to take some time to stroll through the narrow streets and discover the village on your own.
Afternoon - After the village, experience a final Winery visit
Leave Saint Emilion village to visit and wine taste in another Classified Growth Chateau. Again, it will be time to discover another property of the right bank. Since our goal is to have you discover the different types of wineries that are present in Saint Emilion, we usually select very different Chateaus during the day. Our winery selection includes some very progressive ones that have decided to invest in the latest technology to help them craft the best possible Bordeaux wines.
Other wineries are family owned and have kept their wine making process as traditional as possible, using techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation. Some wineries are quite large, while others produce wine on no more than 12 acres. This final visit can also be a great opportunity for you to find out about the unique way in which most of the Bordeaux wines are sold and the secret world of the 'Negociants'. After the visit, experience a commented wine tasting session of the Chateau wines and then it will be time to return to Bordeaux.
More information on the ‘Right Bank’ Wine Region of Bordeaux
Located on a hill set along the Dordogne Valley and surrounded by beautiful countryside, it’s not hard to see why the medieval village of Saint Emilion was the first wine region to be given World Heritage status in 1999. The first to plant vineyards were the Romans, who brought grapes here in the 2nd century.
The village takes its name from a Famous Monk
The village however takes its name from Emilian, a monk from Brittany who fled his home town of Vannes. He took refuge in one of the natural caves of Saint Emilion and lived a hermit’s life until his fame for performing miracles spread far and wide and drew disciples from around the region and beyond. The village subsequently became an important religious center and pilgrimage site and even after his death his followers reinforced his legacy by naming the village after him.
The town continued to thrive through the Middle Ages, at which time local monks developed wine making in the region elevating it to the status it has today. Although excluded from the famous 1855 Bordeaux rating, Saint Emilion wines were finally classified in 1955.
The best attractions in the village are located underground: beneath the town, a gigantic network of tunnels and galleries. Quarries were carved out of the hill in order to provide fertile soil for the surrounding fields and vineyards, and they have left Saint Emilion with many unique underground attractions.
Chief among them is surely the Monolithic Church, an underground church carved from the limestone in the 12th century that reaches above ground up to a 68-meter high bell tower. The ancient Cordeliers cloisters, which sit alongside the monolithic church in the heart of the old town, are another emblematic local landmark.
Today, far away from the local train station, the stoic beige rooftops and medieval stone buildings make Saint Emilion feel like an open-air museum. Everywhere you walk reveals another picturesque scene and the many cafes and restaurants offer some of the best outdoor dining views to be found in France.
If you wish for a more personalized experience, we also organize private tours to Saint Emilion wine region as well as wine tours from Bordeaux to all the major wine producing areas such as Medoc (for the Cabernet Sauvignon wine lovers), Graves and Sauternes.