LEDOMDUVIN: SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION FOR WINE SINCE 1991 -
Tasting everything from everywhere, from the multimillion-dollar Chateaux to that small, unknown cellar ending a dirt path surrounded by vineyards... a wine blog to enjoy till the last drop!
Many wine buyers and wine critics will tell you, if you plan to have a busy schedule visiting Châteaux and tasting in the various appellations (during the "En Primeur" for example), you have to seriously take into account the distance and time, and plan accordingly if you don't want to be late to your visit or appointment.
Bordeaux may seem quite small and its wine regions quite close to each other, yet, a trip from Bordeaux center to Pauillac, which usually takes about 45 minutes, to drive the 45 kilometers separating them, may take more than 1 hour if you encounter traffic on the road.
More especially, when you know (or realize) that "La route des Châteaux" (i.e. the Châteaux sightseeing road), is basically the only road you can take, and, worst of all, that it is a single lane road (on both sides), where usually locals, Châteaux workers, professionals, tourists, trucks, and tractors meet to form a never-ending single line of vehicles stretching from beginning to end (meaning Bordeaux to Pauillac, even to Saint-Estèphe), and it takes forever.
That's why it is better to book your visits and appointments long in advance, to be able to group them within the same appellation (if possible), and start from north to south, with Lafite, Mouton, Pontet Canet, and Pedesclaux in the morning, then Lynch-Bages, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande, and Latour to finish the day. 😁👍🍷
You won't necessarily be able to do more than 4 Châteaux in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. I used to do it every year, in the 2000s, and I can tell you it is tight, especially if you have the visit + the tasting (some Châteaux have several labels + other chateau labels from the same owner). One Château per hour is usually the best plan.
Think about it next time you go to Bordeaux, there is always lots of traffic there, and do NOT plan Medoc in the morning, then Saint-Emilion/Pomerol in the afternoon, that's the worst planning ever.