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World’s Wine Capital: 5 Iconic Châteaux to Visit in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a port city found in Southwestern France. It is the world’s wine capital, where castles and vineyards take up much of the region, standing on the hillsides of Girone river. Aside from being one of the best places to buy wine for investment, it is also a place where architecture leads the area, manifested in the buildings surrounding it.

Châteaux have definite descriptions—manors acting as the lord’s residence, a fine country house of noblemen in French-speaking regions. However, Bordeaux makes them the centre of architectural and cultural heritage, making the port city with the most listed monuments second to France. As a result, people flock from all over the world to see the majestic beauty of châteaux in Bordeaux while sipping a glass of wine. But which iconic châteaux should tourists visit? Here are some ideas.

1. Barsac

Barsac is a slightly sweet wine district famous for producing sweet white wines in the western region. The favourite Sauternes make the best-known wine here, or “Yellow Label,” created with the Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes.

However, the châteaux are the star attractions. Take a stroll down the road in the district, and you’ll come across an impressive château built on a hillside surrounded by vineyards. The first of the Bordeaux vineyards, Château la Tour Blanche, dates back to the 9th century and is still in use today. A few kilometres away is Château de Kercado, built at the end of the 12th century, which has a vineyard, too.

2. Castillon – Cotes de Bordeaux

The Cotes de Bordeaux consist of a sub-region of Bordeaux in the western part of the region consisting of low hills and vineyards between the Garonne river and the Pyrenees. The sub-region is made of three appellations: Cotes de Bordeaux, Coteaux de Gironde, and Costières de Bordeaux. The Cotes de Bordeaux is the largest of the three with many chateaux to visit.

The “Cotes de Castillon” is the largest sub-region of the Cotes de Bordeaux, conveniently close to the Garonne river. It is a series of vineyards in a group of hills that stretches from east to west of the Gironde department. Its two largest chateaux are Château Haut-Brion and Château Talbot.

3. Cotes de Bourg

The locals are commonly called “Cotes de Bourg” the sub-region encompasses the northern part of the Cotes de Bordeaux. The northern part is also known as the “Cotes de Blaye”, and the southern part is the “Cotes de Francs.” It is a series of hills that stretches from the Gironde to the Dordogne department between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers.

The region’s vineyards have an average of 7 degrees Celsius in temperature because of the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The vines are irrigated by rainfall, and the annual rainfall from December to March is much higher here than in the rest of the Gironde department. Some of the most beloved châteaux in Bordeaux are found in the region, some dating back to the 16th century.

4. Haut-Médoc

Haut-Médoc, located in the western part of Bordeaux, is a sub-region of Bordeaux that lies along the Garonne river. The Sub-region is made up of three districts: Médoc, Sauternes, and Cotes de Castillon.

Médoc is the largest district known for its red wine with a tannic finish. The community is also known for its dry white wine made from the Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris grapes. Sauternes is most famous for producing the Sauternes wine. Cotes de Castillon is the smallest district in the Medoc and is renowned for making white wines because the grapes grown have higher acidity.

5. Pomerol

Pomerol is a sub-region of Bordeaux located in the region’s western part. The area is home to the Le Grand Pomerol, the largest vineyard in France. The most notable sites of the region are Château Petrus, Château Troplong Mondot, Château Beychevelle, Château Rauzan-Ségla, and Château Pierron. Pomerol is mainly known for its red wines.

Other Things to Do in Bordeaux

Aside from wine investment, Bordeaux has much to offer for the traveller. Here are things to do in Bordeaux.

1. Climb St. Michael Basilica

The Basilica of Saint Michael is a Roman Catholic basilica in Bordeaux, France. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. The basilica is built in a Gothic style. The basilica was consecrated in 1891, replacing an old church built-in 1759.

2. See the Statue of Pétrus

The statue of “Petrushka” is an emblem of Bordeaux. It is a bronze statue outside the Bordeaux Town Hall on Place de la Comedie. Pablo Picasso, in the 1970s, created the sculpture. The figure is of an artificial up of his torso, arms, and head. The rest is created by tools such as a wine bottle, a corkscrew, and a bottle opener.

3. Visit the Statue of Molière

Molière, a French playwright, is the statue’s subject in Bordeaux. Molière was born in Paris and died in Bordeaux. The sculpture was created by Jean Boucher-Richard and was erected in 1989. It is located in Place de la Bourse.

4. Walk Beside the Gironde Lion

The Gironde Lion is a modified sculpture that was taken from Lyon. The Gironde Lion was created in the 19th century and symbolised the French Revolution. The statue was brought to Bordeaux in 1856 but was severely damaged in the Second French Empire. However, it was rebuilt in a new version in 1970.

Bordeaux is one of the cities that travellers should visit in France. It is one of the most famous wine-growing regions in the world. The city has a rich history dating back to the 8th century. The city is home to many famous chateaux, churches, and statues.

Aside from wine investment, Bordeaux is a great place to travel, especially if you have wine-loving friends or family. So, when in Bordeaux, don’t forget to stop by and enjoy a glass of wine. It is a beautiful wine region with much to offer.

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