Graves – 2000 years of wine!
Today we arrive at Graves, a significant sub-region of Bordeaux and situated just outside the charming and cultural city of Bordeaux, on the left bank along the Garonne. Graves include famous wine villages such as Sauternes, Pessac, Talence, Léognan, Martillac, Saint-Morillon and Portets.
The Romans planted the first vineyards in this area some 2000 years ago, several centuries before the Dutch began planting vines in Médoc. But why here in Graves? Well, the Romans were wise. It is of course the terroir that was and is so remarkable. A temperate climate and the perfect soil creates an ideal environment for growing several important grapes and a well-drained terroir of gravel, clay and limestone characterizes the soil all over Graves.
Historically, Graves is seen as the birthplace of Bordeaux’s high-quality red wines and that is exactly why Graves is so unique. But the region is equally respected for its red wines as for its whites. Vineyards produce elegant red wines, but also stylish, dry and fruity white wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and Semillon grape as well as some sweet, truly delicious wines under the appellation “Graves supérieurs” which is strictly reserved for sweet white wines.
Grave’s red wines are acknowledged for their rich dark pomegranate color, certainly attractive and more robust wines than you often find in for instance Médoc. Here the red wines are made of grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the latter also often used for blended wines. The designation AOC Graves covers both red and white wines and then there is also the appeal Pessac-Léognan.
Some exciting vineyards…
The Château Vénus is really the ultimate name for a vineyard in Graves, as it describes the love of wine making, the love of the land and the love of every family member in the vineyard. Emmanuelle and Bertrand met each other whilst she was studying trade with focus on the wine industry and Bertrand, coming from generations of renowned winemakers, studied f course modern wine production. Several years, they spent aquiring more knowledge in the United States before returning to Château Venus here in Graves. The red grapes, which are harvested by hand, are foremost Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and for white wines Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
- Appellation: AOC Graves
- Activities: a cool helicopter ride over the area
- Price: € 69
The vineyards at Château Jouvente are 8.7 hectares, 6.7 hectares are designated to blue grapes mainly Merlot but also Cabernet Sauvignon and some Petit Verdot, as well as 2 hectares for green grapes such as Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, some Sauvognon Gris and Muscadelle. All grapes are hand harvested, of course, put under pneumatic presses and fermented largely in new barrels and stored 9 to 10 months. Here at the castle you can taste delicious wines seven days a week.
- Appellation: AOC Grave
- Activities: Wine tasting at Château Jouvente
- Price: € 5
The history of this spectacular farm dates back to the 18th century. Since 1943, Château Tourteau Chollet is one of Grave’s largest wine castles, with a property of over 63 hectares, of which 56 hectares are dedicated to blue grapes, with the remaining 7 hectares for green grapes. On the sandy wine plateau thrives Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a little Petit Verdot and Malbec. The green grapes are Sauvignon Blanc and some Sémillon. Here you can stay in a delightful guest house, attend wine tastings with various delicious wines and tour the wine cellars as well as the vineyards.
- Appellation: AOC Graves
- Activities: Wine tasting at Château Tourteau Chollet
- Price: € 10
Château Bouscauts is an old 18th century castle amongst some beautiful ancient oaks. The vineyard is run by Sophie Lurton and Laurent Cogombles. Here, one of the six Grands Cru Classes of Graves red and white wines within the Pessac-Léognan classification is produced. The 40 hectares of soil, comprising of limestone and gravel houses Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc on the eremaining 10 acres. Some very elegant, stylish and age worthy wines are made here. The Château is open for conferences and visits of the vineyards and the winery.
- Appellation: AOC Pessac-Léognan
- Activities: Visit the vineyard and the wine cellar
- Price: € 8
Château Haut Bacalan traditions date back to 1726 when Charles Louis of Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, with colleague bought the estate and sold the 1748 property to Mr. Bacalan.
The vineyard is next to the distinguished city of Pessac and comprises of 40 hectars.
The grapes that are grown are Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Carmenere as well as Sauvignon, Semillon and Muscadelle for white wines.
Wine lovers from all over the world visit this vineyard You may sample wines and listen to the history surroundng the estate as well learn about the methods of wine making.
Please book your visit in advance so that the wine team is ready to welcome you.
- Appellation: AOC Pessac Leognan
- Activities: Wine tasting at Château Haut Bacalan
- Price: Please contact for prices
The prestigious Bordeaux wine directory Cocks et Féret praise on the wines from Château Seguin bur this was in the 19th century. After that there was a decline, but the estate had a renaissance when a Parisian jeweller, Denis Darriet, acquired the 31 hectares of vineyards in 1987. With his commitment special cuvée Confidence(s) de Château Seguin has become the very symbol of the precision of Darriet’s dedicated wine team. Current yield is 130,000 bottles per year.
Today Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown on a e terroir consists of gravel, sandstone and clay. The proximity of pine forests and the Atlantic contribute to the beneficial climate. It is indeed vital for the balanced, colourful reds of Château Seguin.
- Appellation: AOC Pessac-Léognan
- Activity/Price: Please contact for activities and prices