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Bordeaux: Best of Wine Tourism Awards 2024

With each passing vintage, the experiences laid on for visiting wine lovers by Bordeaux's châteaux grow richer and more diverse. A recent awards ceremony celebrated the finest of Bordeaux wine tourism.

Earlier this month, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network announced the 2024 Best of Wine Tourism awards for Bordeaux.

This year’s eight winners (see below), selected from 23 finalists, were announced at a ceremony in the Bordeaux CCI’s building on the Place de la Bourse.

The winners highlight just how open Bordeaux now is, and not just for classic cellar visits. Eclectic initiatives show how innovative winemakers are being in sharing their world. It’s also a great network for the winners to exchange and share ideas on wine tourism, innovation, education and sustainable development.

Winners from all regions across the seven categories (Architecture & Landscape, Art & Culture, Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences, Wine Tourism Restaurants, Accommodation, Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and Wine Tourism Services), as well as a surprise jury selection, will compete in the international final in Lausanne next month (November). In addition, the winners will compete for a yet to be decided People’s Choice Award, which is voted for online by the public.

Created in 1999 by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) to reward innovative wine tourism, the network now includes 12 ‘wine cities’ worldwide: Adelaide (South Australia), Bilbao/Rioja (Spain), Cape Town/Cape Winelands (South Africa), Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand), Lausanne (Switzerland), Mainz/Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco/Napa Valley (US), Valparaiso/Casablanca Valley (Chile) and Verona (Italy).

The network is a partner of the Porto Protocol Foundation, and is also one of the founders of the Sustainable Wine Roundtable. Furthermore, it has a web portal which matches exchange and internship requests, in addition to offers in the wine and tourism industry across the regions.


Awards & Winners

Architecture & Landscape

Won by Château Montlabert in St-Emilion, with its tree-lined drive and white rose garden behind the neoclassical 18th century chartreuse.
1 Lieu-dit Montlabert, 33330 St-Emilion


Art & Culture

This category went to cru bourgeois Château Castera in the Médoc. Every year, Castera invites a contemporary artist to create and show works at its Castera Expose.
Rue du Bourg, 33340 St-Germain d’Esteuil


Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences

St-Emilion Grand Cru, Château Rol Valentin, won the  prize with its Verre-Tigineux tasting, a masterclass in how the shape and size of the glass changes our tasting experience.
2 Lieu-dit Bel Air, 33330 St-Etienne de Lisse


Accommodation

In the Graves de Vayres, winner Château Fage, La Maison des Vignes opened in 2021 as an elegant and modern 26-room, four-star hotel. A long, sunny terrace runs along the lap pool in the vines, Close to St-Emilion, it’s a great base for wine tours.
Lieu-dit Fage, 33500 Arveyres


Wine Tourism Restaurants

Château Malartic-Lagraviere in Pessac-Léognan won the title this year. It is known for its gastronomy, offering everything from chic picnics in the park to cooking lessons with the chef and elegant lunches in the beautiful chateau, sharing its inspiration via the Les Quatre Saisons de Malartic cookbook.
43 Avenue de Mont de Marsan, 33850 Léognan


Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices

Château Mauvinon in St-Emilion explains its biodynamic philosophy from the Nichoir de Mauvinon, a terrace high above the vines. With a glass of organic wine, guests can join in the local wildlife headcount which is increased by the nesting boxes installed in the vines.
217 Mauvinon, 33330 St-Sulpice de Faleyrens


Wine Tourism Services

A pioneer of wine tourism in Margaux, third growth Château Giscours took this title due to the diversity of its experiences. The spectacular château opens its doors and dining room for intimate tastings and farm-to-table meals at La Table de Giscours, sourcing products from its home farm and kitchen garden. In contrast, La Ferme Suzanne welcomes up to 2,000 guests for more spectacular events.
10 route de Giscours, 33460 Labarde


Jury Selection

Château Arbo in Montagne St-Emilion is this year’s winner. Created in 2015 by young winemakers Astrid and Dorian after they met at wine school, the estate has always been open to visitors. Having renovated the vines and cellars of this 6.5ha property, a self-catering flat has now been upgraded and is available to rent through Airbnb.
13 route des Faucheries, 33570 Montagne


Aside from the winners, many of the runners up are worthy of a mention. The Cellar of Lights at Château La Fleur de Boüard and the galaxy of disco balls and stroboscopes that shower visitors with stars at Château Siran are playful, immersive experiences.

There are beautiful guest rooms in the elegant 18th century chartreuse of Château Laffitte Carcassett in St-Estèphe. At Château Lamothe-Cissac in the Haut-Médoc there is a wine escape game that liberates the bottle rather than the guests.

The Cellar of Lights at Château La Fleur de Boüard. Credit: Château La Fleur de Boüard

Château de Rouillac in Pessac-Léognan shares its passion for horses and wine with a tasting in its beautiful stables, while the Courselle sisters at Château Thieuley have increased biodiversity by planting olive trees, orchards, truffle oaks, hedges and bee hives for its Bee Friendly certification.

La Maison du Vin de Blaye organises a two-day spring festival at the UNESCO World Heritage site of La Citadelle on the Right Bank of the Gironde estuary for its 450 winemakers.

If you can’t decide, La Bulle Verte operates eco-stations across Bordeaux. Thanks to a mobile app, its e-bikes take visitors to more than 30 sustainable wine tourism destinations, including many previous ‘Best Of’ winners. As with many of the experiences offered by this year’s victors, it offers wine education wrapped in pure enjoyment.

Explore Bordeaux at a slower pace with La Bulle Verte. Credit: Bordeaux Tourisme & Congrès


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