We have only one day: which wine region should we pick?
If you have only one day to explore the vineyards of Bordeaux we advise you to pick a tour of Saint Emilion. Apart from being an amazing World Heritage medieval town, Saint Emilion also counts close to 750 wineries (often small, authentic and family owned), produces amazing wines, is Pomerol's neighbor and offers the most amazing views and landscapes.
The second region we would advise is Médoc, followed with the Graves, Cognac, Arcachon in the summer and Dordogne in the winter if you are a truffle fan! and of course, keep at least half a day to explore the wonderful city of Bordeaux!
What is the weather like in Bordeaux?
Bordeaux's climate is best described as moderate, with long warm summers and mild winters.
Its weather is influenced by its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the warming effects of the Gulf Stream.
From March to May, the weather is generally pleasantly mild, although rain showers are not uncommon.
The summer climate in Bordeaux tends to be warm. Summer temperatures during the day average 17°C / 63°F, regularly rising to around 26°C / 79°F. Nights are cooler. Summers usually tend to be dry.
Although autumn can bring wetter weather than other times of the year, September to November is also seen to be a very pleasant time to visit Bordeaux.
Winters in Bordeaux are relatively short and mild, with an average temperature of 7°C / 45°F and lows of around 2°C / 36°F, making it an attractive proposition for a winter break.
What should I pack?
Here are some tips to help you pack for your Bordeaux trip:
- bring comfortable shoes
- even in the summer time don't forget to bring a light sweater or cardigan during the tours as cellars are always quite chilly
- for wine tours jeans/pants and the nice shirt will be absolutely fine for gentlemen; casual dressing for ladies will work perfectly
How do you select the wineries we will visit?
We are always on the field meeting the winemakers, the guides, the owners of each estates... we know Bordeaux' wineries like our back pocket and we decide on where to go depending on your level of interest, the numbers of day tours you'll select, how much knowledge you have when it comes to Bordeaux wines or wine in general...
We also make sure we select different styles of wineries (small family owned to larger operation) so that you can have the best introduction to the Bordeaux wines world in the time given.
Do not hesitate to give us a list of your favorites!
Please note that some wineries are open only to wine professionals.
HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
Can you help us pick hotels & restaurants?
As we have very good relationship with many hotels in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion we'll be happy to help you get the best hotel(s) for your stay in Bordeaux!
Also, do not hesitate to ask us for recommendation for your dinners! You'll need reservations for most restaurants in the city so better to plan a little in advance.
For lunch during your tour(s), do not hesitate to give us your preference! From picnic chic with the winemaker to a gastronomic lunch, we have the best addresses!
How do I get around?
Bordeaux being a large city (5th largest in France) you might have to use local transportation during your stay.
Here are a few important facts:
- if you stay in a hotel downtown (Intercontinental, Yndo, Hotel de Seze... for example) you'll have restaurants and shops at a walking distance...along with all the major historical sites you'll need to see while in Bordeaux
- taxi system is not that great here I have to admit! It is expensive and you can't find them easily! Think of asking the hotel concierge to plan a transfer for you if needed... You can also call Uber!
- we have a great (fairly new) tramway system in Bordeaux; it is clean, reliable, safe and quite great to go to the Cité du Vin for example (you can get tickets at the main stations)
- upon arrival, at the airport or at the train station, you can take a cab to the city center or you can ask us to plan a private transfer for you. There are also some shuttle (every hour usually) that go to the train station in the city center.
What vehicle will you use for our tour?
Bordeaux with Elodie uses luxury, comfortable, spacious & recent minivans (Mercedes 8 or 9 seaters or equivalent).
We'll provide water bottles. We can also have a wifi access upon request.
What is the easiest way to travel to Bordeaux?
If you are staying in Paris, coming to Bordeaux is very easy: train is a great option (fast, affordable and comfortable); flying is another fast and simple way to travel from Paris to Bordeaux.
Starting this year (July 2017 normally), the train ride from Paris to Bordeaux will only lasts 2 hours!
If you are staying in the town of Saint Emilion you can travel by train to Libourne (10 minutes away from Saint Emilion).
Should we tip in France?
French people are not very used to tipping... However, they know that in some other countries people are used to tipping!
So, feel free to leave a little something at the restaurants, bars, hotel staff, guides, etc when you are happy with the service (it is welcomed, not expected). If you are not satisfied, don't feel bad, no tips deserved! ;)
Can we bring our kids?
Of course you can! For transportation we can provide with all types of kids car seats (new born to older kids). Please note the following points:
- for the babies, don't forget to bring an extra duvet for the cellars as it is always quite chilly
- in Saint Emilion strollers are not the best way to go around (many steep cobble stoned street) so a baby carrier might be better...
- if your kids are older we can pick wineries that might be more adapted (fun activity, cool architecture, grape juice tasting etc)
- don't forget that visits can be long so don't hesitate to tell us if you know it will be too boring for your little one, we'll do our best to adapt the tour
Can we use our credit card everywhere?
Now most wineries and restaurants accept CC. However, very rare are those who accept American Express!
Please note that if you want to withdraw cash you'll need to use a distributor at a bank (we don't have ATMs at every street corners...