Practical Guide on How to Arrange Bordeaux Wine Tasting without a Tour

When you visit Bordeaux, in the south of France you’ll be bound to go wine tasting. But what if you can’t or don’t want to join a long (expensive) tour? Luckily for you, there are numerous options for Bordeaux wine tasting that are within the city of Bordeaux and you can arrange it without a costly tour. Here is my really practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour.

I’ll guide you through the options of wine tasting in Bordeaux city, how to get to the wineries, and what the tours at the Bordeaux wineries will be like. I also have tips on booking your inexpensive wine-tasting experience. So, let’s raise our glasses and get to it!

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Enjoying a wine tasting in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Wine Tasting

What better thing to do in Bordeaux, than to go Bordeaux wine tasting in the heart of France’s renowned wine region?

Nestled along the picturesque banks of the Garonne River, Bordeaux is a captivating city for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

With its rich viticultural heritage dating back centuries, the region boasts a diverse array of vineyards, wineries, and châteaux that produce some of the world’s finest wines.

But you don’t have to join an expensive tour and explore the Bordeaux countryside to visit some of Bordeaux’s finest chateaux. Would you be surprised if I told you, you can taste Bordeaux wines, at a vineyard, right in the center of the city?

Yes! Bordeaux is a big city and some of the vineyards and chateau estates are located within the city limits. With bus and tram tickets for only €1.70, you can easily reach them on your own and join a tour of the vineyard and tasting.

Most of the tours and tastings are €15 to €20 so for less than €25 you can try some delicious Bordeaux wines, without leaving the city. And you can do it on your own, no tours or guides are needed.

How to arrange a Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour

Of course, you can try your luck and take the tram and bus out to the wineries and just see what is on. But I’d recommend at least inquiring before setting out.

I always like to know what tours or tastings the chateau offers. What the prices are and when do they run? In the off-season, the chateaux might be closed for visitors or have very limited tastings on offer.

And during peak season, the tastings might be fully booked for the day. So it is always good to check ahead or even make reservations for a tour and tasting at the Bordeaux Chateaux.

It is best to reserve a spot at the chateaux of your choice for wine tasting and tours. Use my link to book online at your favorite winery. They offer an up-to-date calendar so you know what tours are available, including pricing and everything is in English. You pay at the winery.

Of course, you can also call the winery (and hope they speak English) and make a reservation or try to navigate the chateau’s website, but most sites only have a regular contact form. I find it much easier to make direct bookings online via this link.

City of Bordeaux Wineries

If you look at the map of Bordeaux, you’ll see the river Garonne cutting the city in 2. From above you can see two rings, one is the historic center with most of the old buildings, train station, famous attractions, and major hotels.

The other ring is formed by the A630 road with the suburbs of Mérignac, Pessac, Talens, Bègles, and Le Bouscat. Just outside this ring is the Bordeaux Mèrignac Airport. Only 45 minutes by bus or tram from the city’s center.

The above-mentioned suburbs are also the names of some very fine wines. And when you travel through them, you can find wineries and chateaux there.

Within the city limits of Bordeaux, you can find a few city wineries of Bordeaux wines. You can easily visit them by public transport, bike, taxi, or walking. You don’t need a guided tour, but I do recommend booking a reserved tour or tasting at the Chateaux of your choice.

I visited a few and found the whole process super easy and very affordable. Great if you don’t want to join a half-day or full-day guided tour and leave the city of Bordeaux.

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I traveled all over Bordeaux by bus and tram

Wine tasting at Château Pape Clément

My first visit to one of the wineries within the city of Bordeaux was the Château Pape Clément. They have Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux wines and the estate looks picture perfect to what you’d think a Bordeaux castle would look like.

They are one of the oldest Grand Crus of Bordeaux. The name derives from a family member becoming Pope Clement V in 1305. Nowadays, the name sticks but the winery is state of the art. The 80 hectares of the estate are cultivated with the most modern techniques.

They have a lovely shop, and terrace for wine tastings. A regular tour consists of a tour of the premises and an explanation of the history of the brand. You’ll visit the wine cellar and top things off with a tasting of three of their wines.

Afterward, you have time to visit the gardens on your own, which I highly recommend too.

+ Great estate with picture-perfect winery and great explanation
– Wines are not for beginners and you need to learn to appreciate the Bordeaux Grand Cru’s

Is the Bordeaux City Pass worth it? Read my honest review with practical tips for best use of your Bordeaux Pass during your first visit to the French city of Bordeaux.
Exploring the Chateau Pape Clement

Did you know you can also stay overnight at the Bordeaux winery? They have amazing decadent and luxurious hotel rooms available (with a steep price tag) but it will be such an experience to stay here overnight. Check out the hotel here.

How to get there

Château Pape Clément is located in Pessac, at 216, rue du Docteur Nancel Penard. This is a small side street to the much bigger Avenue Dr. Nancel Pernard.

Bus 42 stops right in front of the big gates. Busses 23 and 34 stop right around the corner.

From the train station, you can take regional trains to Gare de Pessac. From there, it is a 20-minute walk or a short bus ride with bus 42 to the chateaux.

If you depart from the city center, for example, the tram stop at the Grand Theatre, you can take the tram out to Pessac and switch to a local bus from there. It will take you approximately 50 minutes, depending on the bus schedule.

A bus or tram ticket is €1.70 one way and is valid for up to an hour. If you have the Bordeaux City Pass, transport is included.

Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
The wine cellar at Château Pape Clement

How to arrange a wine tasting at Château Pape Clément

At the Château Pape Clément, they offer a wide variety of tastings and wine experiences. The prices range from €15 for a simple 3-wine tasting, to €20 for a tour of the estate and 3-wine tasting, to workshops, classes and a €99 make-your-own wine experience.

If you have the Bordeaux City Pass, you get a 20% discount on any tour (that is €4 off at the Tour & Tasting)

I highly recommend booking the tour & tasting 3 wines, as it gives you the best of both worlds. The estate is idyllic, so touring it, and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the cellar is amazing. They also have very knowledgeable guides so you really can learn a lot in the little time you have. And of course the wines!

We tasted 3 wines: 1 white Bordeaux from 2018, a red wine, appellation from 2014, and a Grand Cru Red Bordeaux (à €130 a bottle!). Of course, the wines on offer vary, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.

So, in short: €20 for a 1.5-hour tour of the vineyard with an explanation and 3 fine quality Bordeaux wines.

Would you like to book the same tour? Book your Chateaux Pape Clément tour and wine tasting online here.

Wine tasting tours at Château Luchey-Halde

From Chateau Pape Clément, I took the bus and hopped off at another winery. If you can describe the Chateau Pape Clement as an old-school, posh, and lavish winery, then the Château Luchey-Halde is the complete opposite.

This might be one of the youngest names of the Bordeaux city’s wineries and it has a remarkable rebirthing story. Located in Merignac, the estate was a winery in the past. But in the 20th century, urbanization took over.

To preserve the estate, the army purchased the land. After 80 years of barracks, in 1999, the Bordeaux Agro Sciences (a National School of Agricultural Engineers) bought the estate to rebuild the winery. Nowadays, it is a modern and innovative production facility that showcases the latest technologies in winemaking.

During a visit, you learn about this remarkable rebirth of the estate and tour a part of the winery and production facility. And of course, get a wine tasting at the winery.

Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
Delicious wine and chocolate pairing

How to get there

Chateau Luchey-Halde is located in Mérignac, at 17, avenue du Maréchal Joffre. Not far from the main entrance, there is a bus stop for buses 23 and 54.

I took the bus 23 from Chateau Pape Clement direct to Chateau Luchey-Halde, which made things super easy and quick for me. From the chateau, it is a 1 km (15 minute) walk to the Merignac train station and metro stop.

From the Bordeaux train station, you can take the regional train to Gare de Mérignac Arlac and walk the last kilometer. Or take the A-tramline from the city’s center to Fontaine d’Arlac. It shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes (including the walk).

A bus or tram ticket is €1.70 one way and is valid for up to an hour. If you have the Bordeaux City Pass, transport is included.

How to arrange a wine tasting at Château Luchey-Halde

At Chateau Luchey-Halde, they offer a range of very affordable wine tastings. Their Gourmet tasting is a tasting of 3 wines, paired with amazing chocolates for only €8.

Unfortunately, you miss out on the tour, which is very interesting, so I’d recommend doing the tour and tasting with chocolate pairing. It is definitely different and it is amazing to tingle your taste buds with the combination of wine and chocolates.

The chocolates come from the amazing, and world-famous, chocolate shop Chocolaterie Maëlig Lagarde, in Saint-Emilion.

For only €15 you get a 1.5-hour tour of the winery and wine and chocolate pairing. We tasted a white wine with white chocolate. A Merlot with dark chocolate with raspberry jam and another red wine paired with 70% dark chocolate from Madagascar. It was divine to tingle your tastebuds like this.

Would you like to book the same tour? Book your Chateaux Luchey-Halde tour and wine tasting online here.

Wine Tasting at La Micro Winerie – Chai Urban de Bordeaux

On the right bank of the Garonne River, on the other side of Bordeaux, at the Darwin space, you can find another urban winery: La Micro Winerie.

Here you can really experience the process of wine making, at the place where you drink it! At La Micro Winerie, they have a few tours and tastings:

  • 30-minute tour and tasting of 2 organic wines, for only €8
  • A full introduction to a wine workshop, consisting of a tour and tasting of 3 Bordeaux wines. This is €25
  • A tasting course and wine assembly: blend your own wine and take it home with you! The wine tasting is paired with cheese. This is on the pricier side, at €75

How to get there

Things couldn’t be easier, as La Micro Winerie is located very centrally in the heart of the Darwin area of Bordeaux. You can find La Micro Winerie at 87 Quai des Queyries.

From the A-line tram stop at Jardin Botanique, it is a 15-minute walk (partly through the Botanic Gardens) to La Micro Winerie. Hortense Bus Stop services bus lines 45, 50, 91, and 92. BAT3 docking pier is also not far away.

A bus or tram ticket is €1.70 one way and is valid for up to an hour. If you have the Bordeaux City Pass, transport is included.

Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
I like my wines better with food

How to arrange a wine tasting at La Micro Winerie

At the time of my visit, La Micro Winerie didn’t offer any tours. I did pass by them when I visited the Botanic Gardens and it looked so cool. I definitely want to visit if I get the chance on another visit to Bordeaux.

So don’t do as I did and simply show up. But instead, check the schedule online first and make a reservation online.

Book your La Micro Winerie tour and wine tasting online here.

Other wineries very close to the center of Bordeaux

If you don’t mind a longer bus ride, cab ride, or bicycle journey, these wineries are located a little further from the center of Bordeaux, but can easily be visited from the city.

There are more wineries located on the outskirts of the city, but I really think you need your own transport, otherwise, you’ll be walking for ages.

Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
Amazing to see the vineyard in the city of Bordeaux

Taste wine in the city of Bordeaux

Of course, you don’t have to visit one of the wineries to taste some Bordeaux wines. If there is any place in the world where you can taste the finest Bordeaux wines, it is in the city of Bordeaux.

No long commutes to the countryside and long winery tours. Get straight to the tasting of wine in the city of Bordeaux. Here are some recommendations to taste wines in Bordeaux.

Wine Bars in Bordeaux

Wine bars offer regional, and national as well as international wines by the glass. They are usually open late and offer the perfect opportunity to sample a couple of different Bordeaux wines.

Perfect for comparing and selecting your favorite Bordeaux wine after tasting them all. Some of these wine bars offer set tasting menus and someone will explain all the wines to you.

Others are just bars where you can order a wide variety of wines. Although the staff is very knowledgeable and they will do their best to explain the wines to you, it is not a guided experience. Just drink up!

  • Le Bar à Vin at the Bordeaux Wine Council. Very affordable, and you can order half glasses and snacks.
  • Tchin Tchin Wine Bar, cheers to organic and biodynamic wines in set tasting menus.
  • Les Trois Pinardiers, with over 100 wines by the glass you can taste at will or book their set wine tastings with food pairing.
Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
I was surprised by the white Bordeaux wines

Wine shops in Bordeaux

Of course, there are plenty of specialized wine shops in Bordeaux to stock up on reds, whites and even rosés. Some also offer gins and whiskeys. But these shops are not simply for shopping and maxing out your credit card with wine purchases.

You can also have a wine tasting at some wine shops in Bordeaux!

  • L’Intendant, over the top swanky and mind-boggling by the sheer amount of wines.
  • Max Bordeaux. Unique concept with self-service machines to pour your own glass.
  • Cave Saint Seurin. Local owner Chin has a story with each of the wines she sells. Lovely setting for wines selected by the heart.
Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
Wall to wall wines at the wine shop

Wine Tasting Workshops in Bordeaux

In a city so rich in vinology and with so many wine connoisseurs, it is easy to find someone that knows everything about Bordeaux wines. It is also the place to learn about wines via a workshop!

Bordeaux Wine Tasting Workshop

Located in their nice small office, this local tour company not only offers great tours to the wine regions of Margaux, Medoc, and Saint-Emilion, but they also have in-house wine workshops.

You’ll be educated by a local wine connoisseur and learn about terroir, grape varieties, and the art of tasting wines. You taste one white and 2 reds and bring home an abundance of knowledge.

The whole experience takes about 1 hour and the workshop is located close to the Grand Theatre, so it leaves plenty of time to explore more of Bordeaux, and her wines.

Book your wine-tasting workshop here.

La Cité du Vin – wine-tasting workshop at the museum

With a range of wine museums, you’re bound to try a glass of wine at a museum. But THE place to do so is at the Cité du Vin, the experience wine museum that is the top attraction of Bordeaux.

With every entry, a glass of wine is included on the top floor. First, immerse yourself in the world of wine, and then top your experience off with a glass of wine with swiping views of the Garonne River and the city of Bordeaux.

Entry to La Cité du Vin (and the glass of wine) is included in the Bordeaux City Pass. Of course, regular tickets can be purchased at the entrance to the museum, or skip-the-line tickets can be bought online in advance, here.

La Cité du Vin also offers workshops with wine tasting. They last an hour and cost €18 but are given in French. With the help of an audioguide, in English, Spanish, German, or Italian you can get translations (not ideal, I know).

Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
Tasting a rose wine at the Cité du Vin

You don’t need a tour to go wine tasting in Bordeaux

As you can see from the above-mentioned options, you don’t need a tour to have a wine-tasting experience in Bordeaux. I was surprised by how easy it is to sample some wines at a winery.

Especially when you book ahead, via an online booking form that shows availability and prices, things can’t get easier than that. You pay at the winery and you can just enjoy the wines.

I hope you found this guide useful and are able to taste some amazing Bordeaux wines, without breaking the bank for elaborate tours.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Here is my practical guide on how to arrange your cheap Bordeaux wine tasting without a tour. Read my tips on wine tasting Bordeaux city
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