The Grape Escapes team take Bordeaux!

Grape Escapes team in Bordeaux vineyards

A few weeks ago, the whole Grape Escapes team packed their bags and prepared themselves for the annual team getaway to one of our bestselling destinations. This year, we had the chance to visit Bordeaux!

We stayed in three luxury hotels, had five excellent meals, and tasted probably nearly fifty wines (but who’s counting!)…

Read on for a few of our highlights.

On day one, we started our journey at Château Léognan, for a site inspection and lunch. This stunning 19th-century chateau was recently converted into an intimate hotel space with beautifully designed and decorated bedrooms. In the grounds of the chateau, set in the famous Pessac-Léognan vineyards, guests can visit the unique, one-of-a-kind spa – which blends seamlessly with nature – or even stay in a treehouse, where a fresh breakfast spread will be delivered to your door each morning.

Following a tour of the facilities, we were treated to a delicious three-course meal at the hotel’s restaurant.

Chateau Leognan

We then visited Château Pape Clément, one of Bordeaux’s most famed vineyards – the first grape harvest here took place in 1252. Find out more about a Grape Escape based at Pape Clément here. After our guided tour of the estate’s winemaking facilities, we went behind the scenes to learn more about what goes into wine production in Bordeaux.

Using wine made from both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, we blended our own concoctions in different quantities to produce our very own Bordeaux wine, which we also bottled ourselves complete with labels and cork ready to take home and sample in five years’ time…

Chateau Pape Clement

On our first night, we stayed at the InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel. “This 5 star hotel is in the real heart of Bordeaux and directly opposite the Royal Opera House. The rooms were very spacious and had everything you could need for your stay. We were very lucky to enjoy a wine paired tasting menu in the hotel’s private dining room offering spectacular views of the Royal Opera House. The rooftop bar was a lovely bonus and offered 360 views of Bordeaux – I’m sure this will be very popular in summertime!” (Nicola from Finance).

Intercontinental Bordeaux

Waking up in Bordeaux, our second day was spent in the famed wine region on the Left Bank: the Medoc. Accompanied by an expert driver guide all day long, we set out to drive through acres of vines. First stop: Château Prieuré Lichine for a tour of their cellars and a tasting of some of their most prestigious reds, as well as sampling their white wine production: more of a rarity in Bordeaux today and a big hit with the whole team.

Chateau Prieure Lichine

Next up, Château Dauzac. “I was very excited for Château Dauzac to present to us their brand-new accommodation facilities (which they had been keeping firmly under wraps and so far only the owner himself has stayed here!); 4 spectacularly furnished rooms in keeping with my own more modern preferences, overlooking parklands and the chateau itself. The private residence felt so special, and I could easily envisage myself lounging in one of the bathtubs overlooking the vineyards with a glass of their red in hand!” (Rachel from Sales)

To conclude our tour of Château Dauzac – both the winemaking facilities and accommodation – we were treated to a Champagne aperitif and three-course lunch, sampling the delightful food that our clients have the opportunity to experience.

Chateau Dauzac

We then visited the family-run Château du Taillan, now in its fourth generation, owned and managed by five sisters. The cellar here dates back to the sixteenth century, which provided a contrast from many of the more modern cellars we’d seen at larger estates operating with more modern winemaking methods.

Chateau du Taillan

To conclude our day in the Medoc, we returned to Bordeaux, and checked in to our next hotel: Hôtel de Sèze. Just a stone’s throw from the InterContinental, de Sèze also enjoys a central location. For the evening, we crossed town to visit the Cité du Vin: Bordeaux’s exciting wine museum which has become an emblem of the city. Even the shape of the building is iconic; an architectural masterpiece designed to symbolise the flow of wine being swirled in a glass.

You could get lost here for hours exploring the main exhibition, which is home to a plethora of interactive, sensory activities, where you’ll learn all about the history of wine through the ages as well as how wine is made and more. It’s not just specific to the Bordeaux region, making this a must-see for any wine lover passing through the region. The experience wouldn’t be complete without a glass at the viewing gallery at the very top. Choose from a variety of options—white, rose, red or sparkling—from across the globe, and enjoy the tasting as you gaze at city views through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

For dinner, we hopped one floor down to the panoramic Le 7 Restaurant, which boasts a seasonal menu and extensive wine list.

Cite du Vin Bordeaux

Our night ended in the best and most unique way possible. We were picked up in retro sidecars to enjoy an exhilarating ride round the city of Bordeaux. Georgie and Nicky in the Sales team hail this as one of their best moments: “after a delicious meal in the centre of Bordeaux it was such a fun way to go back to the hotel via the sights of the city in the evening, utterly romantic in the lights and the drivers were brilliant!”. “We discovered lots of the city in a short time and it was so much fun. The team of drivers were safe and accommodating, and it was such a stylish way to travel.  We had this tour in the high winds and rain, and it was still amazing; fortunately, it was only the experience that blew us away! I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to have a tour through the vineyards and in sunshine next time!”

Vintage sidecars in Bordeaux

After a restful night sleep, we were up and out on day 3 to experience the Right Bank and St Emilion. The sun was out today, allowing for beautiful autumnal views over the rolling vineyards at Château La Croizille. After a tour of the facilities, we tasted some spectacular wines before a light lunch.

In the afternoon, we visited Château Troplong Mondot for a tour of their beautifully refurbished, state-of-the-art facilities, and tastefully decorated private accommodation, before a tutored tasting of some of their 2015 and 2018 wines. It’s no surprise that this is a must for many of our clients staying in Bordeaux.

Chateau Croizille and Chateau Troplong Mondot

Last but not least, we arrived in the quaint village that so characterises the Bordeaux region, for our final night’s stay at the 5* Hôtel de Pavie. “I fell completely in love with the village Saint Emilion and the scenic landscape that surrounds it.” (Giulia from Sales).

Perched on the hillside in the heart of the village, all of the spacious and beautifully decorated rooms at Hôtel de Pavie are named after different grapes to reflect the significance of winemaking in the area. “One of the highlights for me was staying in the centre of St. Emilion. I really enjoyed staying in the heart of the town during the quiet season and going for an early morning wander through the streets… the morning light was beautiful and I enjoyed the peacefulness of the cathedral.” (Catherine from Product).

Hotel de Pavie

For dinner, we visited Château de Ferrand, where we first delighted in a tour and some informal tastings before a delicious three-course meal was served.

Eventually it was time to move on from Bordeaux, but before arriving back in the UK, we made a stop in Cognac. For many of the team, this was their first time visiting such a hidden gem, ideally located just an hour and a half’s drive from Bordeaux.

We were welcomed at the iconic and world-famous Maison Hennessy, part of the LVMH group, for their state-of-the-art immersive virtual reality experience. This brought Hennessy’s epic history to life and was great fun for everyone. To finish, we tried a delicious Cognac cocktail, which converted many of the group to make this their new digestive drink of choice.

Maison Hennessy

Following this, we discovered Relais & Châteaux’s beautiful new hotel in Cognac, La Nauve, which has only recently opened. With an almost palatial entrance, marble staircase and glistening glass chandelier, this hotel is stunning and a must for Grape Escapes guests visiting the Cognac region. We were served a wonderful light lunch in the hotel’s adjoining restaurant before getting on the road to make our flight back to London.

La Nauve Hotel et Jardin

The entire Grape Escapes team spent this time learning all about what the region of Bordeaux has to offer, meeting our valued existing suppliers as well as connecting with new ones.

We offer a wide range of flexible tours designed to suit every need and budget, but would also be delighted to put together a bespoke trip tailored to your wishes. We are your Bordeaux experts!

Don’t hesitate to get in touch to start planning your Bordeaux Grape Escape in 2024 or beyond on +44 1920 46 86 66 or email

A big thank you! 2023 Global Wine Tours winner

We are delighted to announce that we have been voted the 2023 Wine Tours Global Winner at the World Luxury Travel Awards! We’re proud of our team for working hard this year to create and deliver exceptional wine holidays across Europe […]