Monday, March 12, 2018

Staying at Château La France - Bordeaux

During a trip to Bordeaux last fall, I stayed at the bed and breakfast at Château La France, a modern five room boutique hotel located between the cities of Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion in the commune of Beychac-et-Caillau. Visitors are greeted by a huge cock proudly overseeing the vineyards. The monumental sculpture was created by artist Georges Saulterre from sheet steel mirror. The rooster's appearance changes from silver through gold as the day progresses and the lighting changes.

The property is over 200 acres and is classed as one of the largest estates in the region. Château La France was built in 1830 on the site of a former Gallo-Roman villa. The actual château can be rented out as well, it contains six bedrooms, has a private pool and can house up to 14 people. I did not stay in the main house during my time there as it was rented out by a wedding party so I was unable to tour it but you can see it on video here.

My room was the Chambre Merlot, a single level room for two which includes access to the spa overlooking the vineyard area, a daily small buffet style breakfast, air conditioning, satellite tv and free wifi. The room was very clean, appointed with bright, contemporary decor and a modern bathroom.

The location makes it easy to access both the city of Bordeaux and the village of St Emilion which are each located less than 13 miles away. Golfers can find paradise at the Golf de Teynac, an 18 hole course just over a mile away from the property while cyclists can rent bikes at Créon, a nearby town situated less than 10 miles away.

If you are visiting the Bordeaux region for the wine, you will find some delicious options produced on the property along with a pleasant tasting room in which to try them. They make four different styles: a Bordeaux Blanc, a Bordeaux Rosé and two Bordeaux Supérieur reds- one aged in stainless steel vats and one aged in oak barrels. While the estate's winery is very modern with a gravity system for moving the wine which helps to preserve aromas and freshness, the winemaking is traditional.

Of the four places that I have stayed in the Bordeaux region, this is my top recommendation for my friends and family. My room was clean and comfortable, the shower was large, the breakfast was tasty and the wines were delicious. The added bonus of unwinding in the hot tub with a glass of wine  at sunset makes a perfect ending to any day there.
Highly recommended.



Friday, January 12, 2018

Visiting Planet Bordeaux


In the Beychac-et-Caillau commune in the Gironde in southwestern France, you'll find Planet Bordeaux which is both the headquarters for the winemakers association and a recommended place for you to begin your tasting tour of the Bordeaux wine region. I visited there in the fall and was surprised to discover that behind the nondescript entrance was a unique and thoroughly modern wine experience waiting for me.
In addition to housing the association, Planet Bordeaux is also the tourist center for the wines from the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur wine appellations. They have guides to help out visitors and can do tours in several languages. They offer attractions like educational exhibits and audio/visual installations covering a range of wine-related subjects along with wine tastings and cooking classes. The center can help with the planning of visits to local chateaux as well. It is not just for wine consumers and tourists, it is also a hub for visiting wine professionals from around the world. 


Following the tour, you are invited to an exceptional retail experience. The wine cellar at Planet Bordeaux is expansive and includes the best from the appellations, all offered at the same price as at the Châteaux. They will also box the wines for you so they are suitable to withstand the perils of travel.


You will find the hours they are opened via the link and you can email them with any questions you may have about setting up a visit at https://www.planete-bordeaux.fr/en/contact .