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Best wine shops in St-Emilion

St-Emilion is renowned for its wines, so it's no surprise the charming, medieval town set among the appellation's rolling vineyards is a haven for wine lovers, with dozens of wine shops to stop at. We take a look at some of the more interesting spots for tourists and locals alike.

Like Beaune in Burgundy, St-Emilion seems to have more shops selling wine than anything else. A quick Google search reveals 58 different shops in the town alone, ranging in size and offering – some independent and others comprising a commercial empire of between three to 14 outlets all with the same owner. 

Whether you’re looking for Grand Cru Classé bottles from your birth year, wines from estates that no longer exist, or large formats of 3L and above, St-Emilion will have them.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is easily reached from Bordeaux city – roughly 45km away and a 45-minute drive from the airport (Mérignac) or train station (Gare St Jean) or a 30-minute train ride.

St-Emilion wine shops

St-Emilion wine shops map

In recent years the town, and surrounding wineries, have fully embraced oenotourism, transforming shops and cellars into top tourist destinations.

A large number of estates have opened wine boutiques, and the majority of shops in town offer free daily tastings, sometimes with up to 40 wines open to taste at your leisure.

Many are filled with experienced and knowledgeable staff to help you pick out a bottle for a special occasion or memorable keep-sake from the trip. Almost every shop in the town offers shipping around the world and some will let you keep your wine purchases there for the day, or duration of your holiday, to pick up on your way home.

The cobbled streets fill up during the summer time (April-October) with people enjoying outdoor dining terraces, riding electric bikes through the nearby vineyards and sightseeing on the tourist train that ventures into the countryside revealing the history and culture of wine in the region, but the shops stay open all year long. Some close only for Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve so there’s never a wrong time to visit.

Part of the fun is going into a few to see for yourself, but below we’ve highlighted some of our favourites.

Maison du Vin de St Emilion

Maison du Vin St-Emilion

Situated at the top of town, this is a great place to stop at first. It’s both a wine shop and tourist information centre focused on the region’s wines. There are daily tastings available and a large selection of wines from both well-known and smaller estates on offer, ranging in price from €10.50 to over €1,000.

There is currently a large selection of 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2018 wines as well as some from the neighbouring appellations of Puisseguin St-Emilion and Montagne St-Emilion.

A 2005 Clos Fourtet is listed as €91, 1993 Château Figeac for €261 and Château Ausone 2002 for €1,100.

La Grand Cave

La Grand Cave

A selection of older bottles and fine-wine boxes inside La Grand Cave

Opposite the historic restaurant L’Envers du Décor, owned by Château Pavie, is La Grand Cave – a large, bright and shiny shop filled with impressive icon bottles from the region including two huge wine fridges full of Left Bank first growths and top estates from the Right Bank.

Be sure to check out the cellar downstairs housing back vintages (see above) – and the oldest wine in stock (currently 1928) – as well as a range of old Burgundies, vintage Champagnes and large-format bottles.

You can also find lots of Armagnac and Cognac here as well as Riedel glasses and decanters.

Vignobles & Châteaux

Credit: Michel Cavalier / Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

An excellent wine store and négociant business full of large format bottles, Bordeaux white wines and back vintages. At the time of enquiring, the oldest bottle in stock was an 1895 Château Larcis Ducasse (it was previously an 1866 Château d’Yquem, but that was recently enjoyed by the sales team, I was told).

Look out for the ‘recent release’ tag at the bottom of many of the bottles – including a 1958 Clos Fourtet – signifying the bottle has not long come direct from the wine estate’s cellars, guaranteeing perfect provenance. There is also an impressive Petrus vertical from 1981-2019.

It also runs a wine bar on the corner opposite.

Comptoir des Vignobles

Comptoir des Vignobles

A list of years with corresponding available wines

Just down the street, crowds gather to look at the placards outside this shop (above) featuring a list of birth years and the wine in stock. Indeed, when I was in there someone asked for any 1953s and after a quick look through the catalogue there were three different wines from the year.

Inside there’s an almost ‘pot-luck’ wall of wines, many of which are from lesser-known, humble estates from mature vintages dating back to 1959 at great prices.

It also has a great selection of Yquem, a Petrus 1951 for €4,262 and Château Mouton Rothschild 1964 for €2,760.

Marchand de Soif

Marchard de Soif

New bottles available to taste

One of the largest wine shops in the town with a lot of staff and more than 30 open bottles and wines in Enomatic machines to taste.

Prices start as low as €7 up to €7,000 and this carries new labels you may not find elsewhere (the first vintage of Nina Mitjavile’s Pitray, Les Prairies 2020 for instance).

Open 363 days a year, there is a huge selection of top Pomerol wines and a small cellar downstairs filled with older bottles. Some ‘hors Bordeaux wines’ sold via the Place de Bordeaux were also spotted with cases of Bibi Graetz’s Testamatta and Colore on offer.

Bordeaux Classique

Bordeaux classique

This relatively small shop is filled with great bottles from estates that no longer exist including Château L’Arrosée 2011 (last vintage 2012, now part of Château Quintus) and Magdelaine 2001, 2003 and 2010 (last vintage also 2012 becoming subsumed into Château Bélair, now Bélair-Monange).

It has some allocation only bottles from Champagne and Burgundy as well as a huge collection of Darroze Armagnac.

It works with small estates such as La Voûte and can also arrange and accompany winery visits in the region.

Ets Martin

Credit: Nick Maslen / Alamy Stock Photo

Same owner as La Grand Cave, but this has even more gems and underground cellars that can’t be missed. There are two rooms upstairs – the main filled with top labels from the left and right banks including fridges full of first growths – and a second room featuring smaller, local producers and some rare spirits and Champagnes.

The 15th-century cellar houses the older vintages from 1945-2005 as well as an incredible selection of Burgundies and large-format Champagnes.

Further inside, round the corner, you’ll find hidden treasures with drawers full of Petrus, Le Pin, Selosse and DRC as well as several rare Bordeaux cuvées including Château Angélus, Hommage à Elisabeth Bouchet.

The Wine Buff

The Wine Buff

The tasting room housed inside a limestone cave

Rated as the best wine shop in St-Emilion on several different platforms, owner Paddy O’Flynn and his wife Pilar run one of the most fun, friendly and informative shops in town.

Originally created to promote their large wine shop empire in Ireland, it has become a must-visit destination since opening in 2015. The store is filled with wines ‘they want to drink’ as well as several cuvées they personally select and blend from local estates (two St-Emilion wines, a Pomerol and a Margaux, with plans to increase the range).

The husband and wife team is full of knowledge and enthusiasm for the wines of the region and host courses and classes on wine tasting for novices and experts alike.

Located off the main thoroughfare, the shop features a bar and outdoor terrace.

Badon Boutique

A stunning space at the foot of the Badon Boutique Hotel, owned by local wine magnate and consultant Jean-Luc Thunevin, who also has a négociant business as well as several high-profile wine estates in the region, including Château Valandraud Premier Grand Cru Classé.

There are almost 10 shops owned by Thunevin in St-Emilion – two right next door to each other when you enter the town on Rue Guadet. You can usually spot one by the signage or bottles from the Bad Boy range in the window. The shops focus unsurprisingly on his own properties and branded labels as well as those at which he consults, and there’s a large range of prices with something for everyone.

The Badon Boutique is beautiful, presenting the bottles in custom cabinets like one would in one’s own dream cellar. Tastings are also possible inside.

La Cave du Marché & L’Emilion

La Cave du Marché

These two shops have the same owner with the former (above) stocking a large selection of well-priced wines ‘from great vintages only’, the owner told me.

There were lots of 2000, 2005 and 2009 wines and, as they don’t work with tour operators taking commission, they are able to price the wines more competitively than some of their neighbours – Château Troplong Mondot 2019 was €93.60 for instance.

Les Cordeliers

Les Cordeliers

If you’re craving something other than red wine be sure to visit the UNESCO listed 14th century Les Cordeliers, where AOC Crémant de Bordeaux has been produced for 120 years in St-Emilion.

The vast shop is filled with different cuvées – vintage, white and rosé – as well as gifts and trinkets to buy and take home.

There is also a cloister and garden which can be explored for free and a wine bar where you can purchase picnic hampers filled with regional specialities to enjoy with a glass or bottle of Les Cordeliers in the sunshine.

Guided tours of the winery and underground tunnels are also possible.

Les Caves Nature

If natural, organic and biodynamic wine is what you’re after, then stop here for a large selection of bottles from both Bordeaux and the rest of France. There’s a Bordeaux pét-nat, sparking Cabernet Franc and several amphora-aged wines on offer.

The owner is also a wine consultant for some of the estates.

St-Emilion chateaux that also have wine shops

Credit: Perrogon / Andia / Alamy Stock Photo

Winery shops are also a great source of back-vintages and special bottles.

Château La Dominique: This château is known for its modern architecture and has a dedicated wine shop where you can purchase a large selection of its wines and wine accessories. Their panoramic restaurant La Terrasse Rouge is also worth checking out. 

Château de Pressac: Housing a charming boutique, this château also offers various tasting packages as well as a private tour with cold buffet or hot lunch. 

Château Fonplégade: Known for its picturesque location, this stunning château offers tours, tastings and a beautiful shop selling its wines. 

Château Soutard: This château welcomes visitors to explore both its cellars and tasting room as well as its nature trail. Opt for a full tour, food and wine pairings or a browse in its large shop. 

Other wine tourism options

Château Franc Mayne: Open for tours, tastings, buying wine and even overnight stays in the estate’s 18th century residence, Relais Franc Mayne, this is definitely worth a stop. 

Château La Tour Figeac: This château, close to the town, offers tours and tastings and the possibility of buying wine in-situ.

Château Laniote: Open all year round by appointment, this historic estate offers tours and tastings and a place to buy wines. 

Please keep in mind that the availability of wine shops and visiting experiences can change, so it’s a good idea to verify the current status and offerings of these châteaux before planning a visit. Additionally, asking locals or checking the official websites of these châteaux can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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