The Best Vineyards to Visit in France
Tips and Guides, Food and Drink, France,
France and great wine are synonymous with one another, and as such, a visit to the country won’t ever be complete without visiting one of its many wonderful vineyards. The best thing about a holiday to France is that there are just so many exquisite locations excelling in the art of winemaking, all you have to do is decide just which ones to see for yourself! To help you along, and to help you narrow down your list, we have put together this introductory guide to the best vineyards to visit in France. We hope it proves a useful tool for your upcoming French adventure!
Château Cos d’Estournel
A marvel of the Bordeaux region, will impress visitors on first arrival with its staggering architecture, a true palace that will provide a unique setting for your wine tasting visit. Created by Louis Gaspard d’Estournel in 1811 in order to make the best wine in the area, this estate of Asian influence is quite unlike any other.
Since 2000, as the Château told us, “Cos d’Estournel has belonged to Mr Michel Reybier. Wishing to follow the avant-garde vision of the founder and to take a decisive technical lead, in 2007 he built the first Bordeaux wine cellar working purely by gravity.”
170 acres in size, the vineyard produces the likes of Grand Vin Cos d’Estournel, les Pagodes de Cos, and Cos d’Estournel Blanc, with the expertise on display benefiting from the experience passed on from generation to generation of those working among its vines. Château Cos d’Estournel invites those curious about this sublime vineyard experience to come and see the estate for themselves.
A number of private tours lasting between two to three hours are available, allowing guests to taste six different wines, and your time at Cos d’Estournel will end with a delicious lunch and wine pairing at the Château, prepared by their chef from local produce.
Dating back to the 1400s, is one of the oldest wine estates in France and boasts a lavish architectural style that is a prime example of the Provence area in which it resides.
Roubine means ‘stream’ in English, highlighting the fact that the chateaux and vineyard are built between the sea and the Verdon River, with a natural stream running through its middle. It’s an unquestionably tranquil wine-making environment, and this is also true for those enjoying a wine tasting session.
With a top team of 30 innovative winemaking professionals, Château Roubine has become known for its mastery of the art form and its continued innovation. Château Roubine also holds a number of events and activities, including an introduction to astronomy, an art gallery at the cellar (held throughout the year), as well as festivals and concerts.
Visitors can look forward to discovering Château Roubine’s history via a tour of their cellar, and after tracking the winemaking process, you finish your visit with a tasting of their Crus Classés, AOC Côtes de Provence. Reservations are required.
Domaine Saint Amant
France really does have so much to offer, and a well-tailored could be your ticket for an unforgettable wine-tasting experience. in Suzette is a vineyard that certainly demands a visit and the scenery alone is worth shouting about. Run by the Jacques Wallut family, they produce 500,000 bottles a year, including 11 red and white wines, as well as some special vintages.
Domaine Saint Amant explained to us why visiting them is such an excellent idea: “Saint Amant is a great vineyard mainly because of its location high up in the Dentelles de Montmirail, at 550m - the highest domaine in the Côtes du Rhône.” Domaine Saint Amant also told us that the “great views, wonderful panorama from Mont Ventoux, Monts du Vaucluse, Lubéron to Dentelles de Montmirail, provide a sense of achievement when you arrive along a small winding road.
“The wines are very fresh, fruity, natural, and reflect the terroir and nature temperament. Their balance is different from the wines from the plain, less alcohol, more acidity, and are even more ‘drinkable’. People visiting can taste and buy the wine at the ‘caveau’, and a visit to the cave is also possible by appointment, as well as a quick drive in the vines.”
Visitors are welcome at Domaine Saint Amant for a tasting between Monday and Friday (9am-6pm) and appointments can also be made for weekends.
Domaine La Croix Belle
For this guide to France’s best vineyards to visit, we also wanted to solicit some advice and suggestions from professional travellers who know a thing or two about visiting these wonderful destinations. One such individual is Becky of the travel blog , who suggests that those travelling to France make sure to visit :
“We’re huge fans of under-the-radar destinations so our suggestion is the Domaine La Croix Belle vineyard in Languedoc. This lesser-known gem of an area is a beautiful historical coastal region in southern France, it extends from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and the border with Spain. The 700,000 acres which make up this region are known for their ancient castles, Spanish architecture, wine festivals throughout the year, traditional agricultural scenes and beautiful vistas and is one of the most productive and affordable wine regions in Europe.
“The Domaine La Croix Belle vineyard is one of the largest estates in the area and is owned the property of the Boyer family. They pride themselves on producing a large array of wines with a friendly and personal customer service. If you want to combine a wine tasting trip with a good dose of sunshine, this is the place for you!”
Becky even has some top wine tasting advice for those visiting France to help enhance your holiday even further: “If you’re all about the wine but don’t have a lot of time or wine knowledge then wine co-operatives can be a good place to start. A wine co-operative produces and sells wine made from the grapes grown by its members. It’s less intimidating than a cellar door vineyard and there isn’t the same pressure to buy. Search around in the towns in wine-growing areas and you’ll probably have wine stores with a sommelier where you can taste the local wine in more relaxed surroundings.”
Château Pape Clement
One of the oldest wineries in Bordeaux, located in Pessac, is a true treasure and has recently celebrated its 700th harvest vintage. Taking its name from former owner Pope Clement V (Pontiff between 1305 and 1314), the wines here include the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and white wine grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc.
Château Pape Clement was one of France’s first vineyards to plant vines in rows (instead of dotted around the estates) and has become an iconic name in the industry across the world. Visits and wine tastings take place seven days a week and Château Pape Clement told us more about what guests can look forward to:
“During the visit, you can discover all the history and the techniques we use in the vineyard. We explain all the stages of the vinification process and the ageing in barrels. Then we want to offer the best experience, so you can enjoy a tasting class, make your own blend and take back home your personalized bottle, or discover a food and wine pairing.”
Domaine de La Vallongue
in Baux de Provence produces five marvellous wines (reds, whites, and rosé) in its 740 acres and was actually one of the very first vineyards to adopt organic growing back in the mid-1980s. With a tasting cellar within an ancient library, visitors can enjoy exquisite wines by tasting the fruits of the vineyard’s labour Monday to Sunday between 10 am and 7 pm.
Domaine de La Vallongue even hold a range of exciting events, including cooking workshops and fashion shows, adding to an already wonderful experience. For more information on the wines produced, head over to their .
The best vineyards in France
There are myriad wonderful vineyard experiences to enjoy in France, and wine tasting experiences in a multitude of beautiful settings and classic wine-making regions. The above are some of the very best the country has to offer and certainly won’t disappoint those planning a once in a lifetime . The chance to enjoy the delights produced by these estates, and exploring their fascinating history, is one that should not be passed up. To start your wine-tasting holiday, make sure to visit our cruise page.