Bordeaux and the Medoc

The trip from Paris to Bordeaux by high-speed train is a comfortable three and a half hours. Unless you plan to go on pre-arranged tours, the best way to tour the wine regions around Bordeaux is by car, and cars can be rented at the train station in Bordeaux.


Musée des Négociants

To learn about the history of winemaking and the wine trade in Bordeaux, we highly recommend a visit to the Musée des Négociants (formerly called the Musée des Chartrons). The museum is located in an 18th century home in the section of the city that was the home of Bordeaux' wine merchants, called negociants. Because the biggest market for Bordeaux wine at the time was England and Ireland, many of the negociants were Irishmen, including one resident of this home whose name was Duffy.

The museum houses many interesting exhibits, including the history of wine bottles and labels, and in the vaulted cellars of the museum are wine storage areas with barrels. Classes on wine tasting or decanting can be arranged for groups if you call ahead for reservations.

Musée des Négociants
41 rue Borie, 33000 Bordeaux, Chartrons
Tel: 57 87 50 60
Call ahead for tour times - regular visiting hours are Tuesday to Saturday: 10:30AM to 05:30PM and the first Sunday of the month: 11:00AM to 5:00PM


Tasting wines of the Medoc

Pauillac Maison du Tourisme et du Vin

The Medoc is home to many of the great chateaus, which are open for tours that usually include tastings. For a chance to taste a wide variety of wines from the Medoc, we recommend a visit to the tourism office in the town of Pauillac, which also doubles as a wine information center. During the summer, the tourism office organizes free wine tasting events, usually once a month. We were fortunate enough to make it to one of these events, which featured wines from 20 estates located in Pauillac and other nearby communes.

Pauillac Maison du Tourisme et du Vin
La Verrerie, 33250 Pauillac
Tel: 05 56 59 03 08

Overlooking the Gironde estuary



We highly recommend staying at the Le Saint-James Hotel in Bouliac, located about a 15 minute drive south of Bordeaux. The location is central for touring the Medoc to the north, Arcachon to the west and Saint-Emilion to the east. The hotel is very modern and somewhat expensive, but is well worth the cost just for the proximity to the three restaurants originally developed by the famed chef Jean-Marie Amat and now run by chef Michel Portos. The restaurants are the formal Restaurant Le Saint-James, with indoor and outdoor seating; the informal Le Bistrot Côté Cour , which was our favorite; and Cafe de la Esperance. All the hotel's bedrooms offer a superb view out over the vineyards, the Garonne valley and the city of Bordeaux, and the hotel also has an outdoor pool.

Le Hotel Saint-James
3, place Camille-Holstein, Bouliac
Phone: (257) 970600, Fax: (256) 209258

Food and Wine of Bordeaux and the Touraine

Arcachon Basin




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