Bordeaux Itinerary

September 18-26, 2025

This tour has strategically been planned to coincide with Bordeaux’s grape harvest, as well as its world renowned Harvest Festival Weekend.  Few wineries allow guests during September, however, Wine-Knows has been very fortunate to secure appointments at several world-class producers.  There will be “insider” opportunities to see exciting harvest activities…from the careful selection of Grand Cru grapes in the vineyard to the various stages involved in birthing a wine.  It’s an absolutely magical time to visit Bordeaux.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

• Private tours & tastings at la crème de la crème Grand Cru wineries

• Winemaker private dinners & Michelin star dining

• Accommodations in Grand Cru wine-making chateaux

• Gala harvest luncheon with the world’s oldest wine society

 

SEPT 18: Welcome to Jewel-Box St Emilion

St Emilon is one of France’s most beautiful  wine villages.

NOTE:  Arrival one day advance arrival in St Emilion is highly encouraged.  Surrounded by ancient walls, this medieval city is a maze of cobblestoned streets filled with upmarket boutiques, restaurants on tree-shaded squares, and an enticing array of top-flight wine stores.  St Emilion is so special that the United Nations has declared it a national treasure by awarding the entire village UNESCO status.  Wine-Knows will be happy to arrange early arrival lodging in the same accommodation in which the group will be staying, however, early booking is essential to guarantee pre-trip space.

Morning:  FREE

Afternoon: The tour begins after lunch in captivating St. Emilion, located 25 miles east of downtown Bordeaux.   We’ll start with a seminar on the wines of Bordeaux’s “Right Bank” (St Emilion & Pomerol).  Then, we’re off for a visit to the vineyards of one of St Emilion’s Premier Grand Cru chateau for a lineup of their stellar wines.

Evening:  Our welcome dinner will be a private winemaker dinner at one of St Emilion’s Grand Cru chateaux.

SEPT 19: Michelin Star: Eat, Drink, Savor

Dine on the best of Bordeaux.

Morning:  The day begins with a private guided tour of St Emilion’s church, the largest monolithic church in Europe (also the burial site of the monk Emilion for which the city and its wines are named).

Afternoon:  Next, we’ll visit two of the most revered chateaux in all of Bordeaux located in the Sauternes region.

Evening: Our dining experience tonight will be “tres special.”  This Michelin star restaurant is located in a fairytale wine chateau whose proprietor also owns Lalique crystal.   We’ll dine in the chateau’s gorgeous dining room with floor to ceiling walls overlooking the vineyards.

September 20: St Emilion’s Merlot-Based Wines

Harvest activities are expected to be in full swing.

Morning & Afternoon:  All day today we will focus on the highly regarded wines of the St Emilion appellation.  We’ll visit two chateaux…both located on the limestone slopes just outside the village’s ancient walls.

 Evening: Dinner will be a private affair with the owner/winemaker of a St Emilion Grand Cru chateau.

September 21: Jurade Wine Gala

Lunch with the world’s oldest wine society. 

Morning:   It doesn’t get any more extraordinary than St Emilion’s harvest festival, one of the top wine-related events in France.   We’ll begin the day at a private Champagne breakfast with the Mayor and other international dignitaries at City Hall to celebrate the beginning of the harvest.   Next, we’ll accompany the Mayor and top winemakers to the Cathedral for the official blessing of the 2025 vintage.  Then, we’ll be by-invitation-only-guests of the Jurade (the oldest wine society in the world) at their induction of new members ceremony. (Note:  the owner of Wine-Knows is a member of St Emilion’s Jurade).

Afternoon: Now, to really blow your mind, today’s finale will include an over-the-top lunch with Jurade in a medieval palace.   An astounding collection of wines from St Emilion’s megastar winemakers will accompany this several hour bacchanal luncheon.

Evening:   Dinner on your own (if you can possibly eat after today’s extravaganza).

September 22: The Versailles of the Medoc

Staying at Chateau Beychevelle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Morning:  It may be difficult to tear yourself away from enchanting St Emilion, but today we move to another equally compelling area of the Bordeaux wine region, the world-famous Medoc.   First, however, we’ll stop in Bordeaux’s Graves appellation for a tour and tasting at one of the world’s respected wine chateaux.

Afternoon:  Our first Medoc stop will be at an internationally acclaimed Grand Cru chateau.  Then, we’ll check into our stunning accommodation, magnificent Chateau Beychevelle.  Known as the “Versailles of the Medoc,” Beychevelle has been leased by Wine-Knows for the next four nights.  While it has >20 bedrooms, Wine-Knows will be the only guests so we’ll have the entire chateau for our private use.

Evening:   Champagne aperitifs will be served in the chateau’s opulent salon opening onto a panoramic terrace overlooking the Gironde River.   Dinner will be a private event in Beychevelle’s magnificent dining room with the chateau’s General Manager/Winemaker.

September 23: Winemaker for a Day

Make your own blend of world-class Bordeaux.

Morning:  We’ll begin our day with a tour of Chateau Beychevelle’s impressive new state-of-the-art wine cellar.  This will be followed by a private tasting with the winemaker.

Afternoon:  Our next activity is both educational and fun:  a private wine blending seminar at a famous Grand Cru estate. Now will be your opportunity to make your personalized blend using Cabernet and Merlot from different plots of the chateau.

Evening:   Tonight we’ll dine at a local restaurant owned by a legendary chateau where we’ll be sure to spot a winemaker or two from local chateaux.

September 24: Outdoor Market & Chateau Terrace Dinner

The terrace was the perfect spot for the 2022 group’s “picnique”.

Morning: Today we head to the nearby Atlantic Ocean to visit one of the few outdoor markets in the Medoc wine region.  Each participant will be given Euros and an ingredient to purchase for tonight’s terrace dinner.

 

Afternoon:  Our tasting today will be in the St Estephe appellation, the northernmost of the Medoc’s Grand Cru wine villages.

 

Evening:  Tonight’s dinner will be from the bounty purchased at the outdoor market and will include such items as organic rotisserie chickens, local pâté & sausages, fresh veggies & fruits, along with a plethora of cheeses & breads.  Aperitifs will be Lillet, Bordeaux’s aperitif distilled from local grapes.  Wines will include Bordeaux’s rare whites, along with reds from the Medoc.   

September 25: Magical Margaux Village

Some Wine-Knows have been on our Bordeaux tour twice!

Morning:  No trip to Bordeaux would be complete without a visit to one of its most famous wine villages, Margaux.   You’ll have time to explore the shops—many are filled with precious hard-to-find vintages, as well as gourmet culinary products. Next, will be a tasting at one of Margaux’s top Grand Cru chateaux.

Afternoon: Following a Margaux lunch we’ll next visit an amazing tiny village…until 20 years ago the entire hamlet lay in ruin and was completely deserted.  It was rescued by one of Bordeaux’s leading winemaking families and now offers a General Store with beautiful goods, a boulangerie/patisserie, as well as an upscale restaurant.  Then, we’ll visit the winery of the family that saved and re-birthed this village for a private tour of their illustrious wine-making museum, as well as a private tasting.

Evening:   Dinner will be at Chateau Lynch Bages’ restaurant in the restored ancient village.

September 26: Au Revoir

Until we meet again…

Bid your new Wine-Knows friends “adieu” as our tour officially ends after breakfast.  Transfers can be arranged to nearby Bordeaux (where there are frequent air and rail connections to Paris, as well as other gateway European cities).

FAQS

The tour begins in the wine village of St Emilion (located <25 miles from Bordeaux), at approximately 2pm on September 18, 2025.  It is strongly recommended that participants arrive two or three days early in the city of Bordeaux to recover from jet lag & see the city’s many sites.  (Bordeaux has an international airport as well as frequent bullet train service from Paris.)  Wine-Knows will be happy to arrange for early arrival accommodations in the city.   Participants are to provide their own transport to nearby St Emilion.

Group airfare has purposefully not been included to allow maximum flexibility in arrival & departure options. You may go early & stay over after the trip concludes.   Wine-Knows Travel, Inc. provides land only arrangements and does not provide airfare.

Our groups are composed of people from diverse occupations, singles & couples, men & women, a mix of young & old, well-seasoned international travelers as well as novices. All have a common interest in food & wine. The majority of participants on our tours are repeat clients or their referrals. In addition, each tour participant is a non-smoker.

One of the hallmarks of our brand is seeking out those oh-so-special spots to stay.  Our carefully curated properties ooze Old World charm, but offer the latest in 21st century creature comforts (e.g. upmarket linens, WIFI, air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms), as well as excellent service.  Below is the accommodations that are planning for use in this Bordeaux trip:

Private 18th century Grand Cru chateau.  Often referred to as the “Versailles of the Medoc,” this fairytale estate is one of the most beautiful wine-producing chateaux in all of France.   Wine-Knows will have full run of the dazzling castle and its magnificent gardens as we have leased the entire chateau.  This one is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

In the enchanting UNESCO village of St Emilion, the group will be divided among two boutique properties. These venues will be disclosed closer to the time of the trip as they can’t be reserved this far in advance.

Dining experiences have been mindfully selected. Meals will be special culinary events ranging from a sophisticated Michelin-star restaurant located in a winemaking chateau, to private winemaker dinners in  private chateaux.  In addition, there will be an extravagant several hour luncheon in a historical palace with the Jurade, Europe’s oldest wine society

Participants will be required to carry their own hand luggage and personal items.  Concerns over any aspect of the tour’s physical requirements should be addressed with Wine Knows before placing the trip deposit.    

The tour will be business casual during the day. Men need to bring a sport coat (tie optional) for the more formal dining experiences at Michelin star restaurants and chateaux.  Women should plan a similar level of attire (cocktail dress or fancy pantsuit) for these evenings.  Do bring non-skid shoes for visits to wineries…they will be finishing harvest operations & floors will be wet & filled with a variety of equipment which can cause safety hazards. Also, pack a swim suit as one of the properties has a swimming pool.

September in Bordeaux averages in the 70’s during the day.  Evenings can be cool due to the close proximity of the Atlantic.

The price is based upon double occupancy.  Should you wish to share a room, every attempt will be made to find you a roommate (most of the time we have been quite successful in doing so), however if we are unable to find you a roommate, you will need to pay the single supplement.

We have provided free time as detailed in the itinerary.  Furthermore, it is not mandatory that you attend all of the planned experiences, although most of our clients do!  This is your trip—if you would rather sleep in, shop, or simply chill out at a sidewalk café, then do it!

Yes.  We accept payment through PayPal (PayPal.com).  Since PayPal charges a fee, this fee must added to the cost of your trip. 

TOUR PRICES

Tour Dates*
Sept 18-26, 2025

*based upon a minimum of 12 participants

Book Before Aug 2, 2024 :

$6,960

Single Supplement:  $1,983

Book After Aug 2, 2024:

$7,293

Single Supplement:  $2,199

State of California Seller of Travel # 2091232-40