Project Description


Languages available: EN FR

Customizable tour: Yes

Recommended group size per guide: 25

Duration: 4 hours

DESCRIPTION – Bordeaux: Wine & Architecture

Contemporary Chateaux in Médoc

The wine industry, so significant in the Bordeaux region, has long been aware of the role that architecture had to play in the development of wine tourism. Buildings designed by famous architects guarantee both tourism and media exposure.

This is not a recent phenomenon, as the “chateaux” built throughout the 19th century already asserted the wealth and notoriety of the properties. But the recent revival of architecture is the result of several converging factors: soaring prices of Bordeaux grand crus in the 1990s, new customer taste for quality wines, the need for new technical equipment implied by gravity winemaking and of course booming tourism. Château Lafite-Rotschild was first to adapt when Ricardo Bofill was commissioned in 1985 to design a brand-new winery building. Soon around fifteen châteaux followed, combining  wine production and architectural quality.

The visit will allow us to explore this evolution in the Médoc territory, north of Bordeaux, with examples of contemporary constructions each having its own specificities: Chateau Margaux, its winery designed by Norman Foster and the associated exhibition; Château Lynch-Bages (BPM, Pei) Château Pedesclaux (Wilmotte, BPM)…

It is also an opportunity to observe the very particular landscape of the Médoc, a strip of land between river and ocean. The visit includes a break (perfect for a possible lunch) in the town of Pauillac, to observe the landscaping (urbicus) or stroll through the old town. Another stop near Margaux will allow you to get closer to the Garonne to talk about its constructive history…

Wine tastings can be arranged. On the way out, the visit will pass the Matmut stadium built by Herzog & de Meuron. It will end with a possible visit to the Cité du vin (Xtu architects) to complete this sensory experience.

Optional: wine tasting (please check availability & price).