WineMaker readers including Publisher Brad Ring recently spent a week exploring one of the world’s great wine regions: Bordeaux, France. The group experienced the height of harvest during visits to legendary wine areas such as Médoc, Saint-Émilion, Graves, and Sauternes during WineMaker’s Bordeaux Wine & Food Tour in September, 2022. We visited an amazingly broad spectrum of wineries from the large and well-known like Château Lynch-Bages to a small family-run winery with just one employee at Château Boutillon. All along the way we had the chance to walk vineyard rows and meet with local winemakers happy to answer questions from American home winemakers while we enjoyed sampling their wines.
We also made sure to leave time for some incredible Bordelais meals in wine cellars, cheese caves, and steaks cooked over an open hearth of flaming grape vines.
We visited in mid-September during the excitement of harvest and were lucky enough to watch just-picked grapes roll down sorting belts and emptied into fermenters with winery operations in full gear. From Left Bank to Right Bank, it was a special chance to enjoy world-class wines right at the source with the smell of fermentation in the air.
It was a treat to pick and taste Botrytis noble rot-shriveled grapes in Sauternes, walk through the architectural wonder of Château Haut-Bailly’s ultra-modern winery dug into a hill packed with multi-story concrete egg fermenters, compete in a blending contest at Château Lauduc, learn from interactive displays at the La Cité du Vin wine museum, and try rare Merlot-based blends at Château Beau-
Séjour Bécot just down the hill from Saint-Émilion. And it was a trip made all the more special by sharing it with fellow home winemakers passionate about wine and winemaking while exploring villages, stunning countryside, the cobblestone city side streets of Bordeaux, and culture of one of the world’s most famous wine regions.
Our next WineMaker trip with space available will be in Portugal and take place from June 24–30, 2023. Details on this Portugal trip can be found at winemakermag.com/trip. We hope you can join us on a future WineMaker adventure. Santé!