Organized wine tours can be expensive and you don’t need an organized tour to visit wine châteaux in Bordeaux. In fact, some of the best tours are specialized visits that go beyond the classic tour and tasting by the châteaux themselves. And if you’re just not keen to rent a car to explore the Bordeaux wine region, these are Bordeaux châteaux you can visit using public transportation. They’re all easily accessible from Bordeaux center.
Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion
Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is unique in that it’s the only winery to be located inside of Bordeaux city limits. And it’s incredibly easy to reach in just 30 minutes time from Bordeaux Centre, making it easy to visit a Bordeaux château even if you’re only visiting Bordeaux on a day trip.
Originally part of the 1855 classified Château Haut-Brion, the owner at the time donated a large part of the estate to the Carmelite order. That land was later repurchased after the French Revolution and is today the Bordeaux AOC estate Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion.
What we love about this estate is the unique architecture, beautiful winery and the top-notch wines. It’s a Bordeaux château well worth the visit.
How to get to Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion on public transportation: Take Tram Line A to the François Mitterand stop. It is then about a 10 minute walk for 850 meters to the château.
You can also transfer from Tram Line A at the Saint-Augustin stop to Bus 41 and ride for three stops to the Docteur Rocas stop right outside the gate of Château Les Carmes Haut Brion. Plan your journey.
Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is open for visits by appointment only. Group visits are available from Monday – Friday at 11am and 3pm. Private visits are available from Monday – Saturday from 9:30am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 6pm.
Château Pape Clement
Originally planted in 1300, Château Pape Clement is Bordeaux’s oldest vineyard. The estate has been producing Bordeaux wine for over 700 years. The fact that it can easily be reached from Bordeaux Centre in just 40 minutes by bus isn’t the only reason to visit, either.
While the Official 1855 Classification of Médoc Wines is certainly Bordeaux’s most famous, but it’s not Bordeaux’s only classification. Château Pape Clement is a Grand Cru Classé, ranked in the Graves Classification of Wines in 1959. Including both red and white wines produced in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Château Pape Clement is among 16 châteaux to be classified.
What we love about this Bordeaux winery is the history, gorgeous grounds, and the unique 5 senses wine tasting experienced offered. With the 5 senses tour and tasting, you taste in several areas of the estate and engage all five of our senses. It’s definitely an eye-opening (pun intended!) experience that makes you realize how much the environment around us influences what we think of the wines we taste.
How to get to Château Pape Clement on public transportation: Bus Line 4 from Gambetta to the Le Monteil (Cité Le Corbusier) stop. It is then about a 10 minute walk for 700 meters to the château. Plan your journey.
Château Pape Clement is open for visit by appointment only. Visits are available from Monday – Friday from 8am – 7:30pm, Saturday from 9am – 7:30pm and Sunday from 9am – 12:30pm.
Château d’Agassac is certainly one of the most fairy tale-like château that you can reach by public transportation from Bordeaux. The castle – a true castle complete with a moat surrounding it – is even older than the vineyards of Château Pape Clement. The castle dates back to 1238. While not as easily accessible as Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion or Château Pape Clement, it’s well worth the effort to visit this Médoc castle.
As mentioned already, the 1855 Classification isn’t the only one. Yet another classification of Bordeaux wines you’ll hear about while visiting Bordeaux is the Cru Bourgeois Classification, which since 2010 takes place annually. Many wine aficionados love Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois for this very reason – the châteaux included have to really stay on top of producing the highest quality of wines to maintain their Cru Bourgeois classification year after year.
What we love about this Bordeaux château is the beautiful grounds and the excellent tour that helps visitors to understand yet another part of Bordeaux’s complex wine region. The wines are good and affordable.
How to get to Château d’Agassac on public transportation: take tram Line C from Quinconces to the Gare de Blanquefort stop, which takes 26 minutes and runs every 10 minutes. You then change to bus Line 22 at Gare de Blanquefort and take the bus to the Villa stop, which takes 15 minutes and runs every 30 minutes. From Villa, you have a 1.5 kilometer walk to Château d’Agassac that takes around 20 minutes. Plan your journey.
Château d’Agassac is open daily and visits are available in English and French. The tour and tasting lasts 45 minutes and costs €10 per person, which will be waived with the purchase of wine. Book your visit by sending a message on their online contact form.
Château Saint Ahon
Château Saint Ahon is one of Bordeaux’s most family-friendly châteaux, with plenty to enjoy for every age. With resident animals, a kid’s playground and grape juice to taste alongside the adults, kids love a visit to the château. It’s also easy to reach from Bordeaux Centre.
Family-run today as a wine making estate, Château Saint Ahon was once a residence of the French philosopher Montesquieu. What we see today unfortunately isn’t the original that Montesquieu owned – that castle was sadly destroyed during the French Revolution. The castle was reconstructed under Napoleon, however, and is today a Remarkable Monument.
What we love about this Bordeaux estate is that it’s a small producer where you’ll likely meet the family themselves. It’s also picturesque and a walk through the 1-kilometer discovery trail of the château’s Mirabel Gardens is a lovely way to get outdoors on your visit to Bordeaux.
How to get to Château Saint Ahon on public transportation: take bus Line 29 from Quinconces Orléans directly to the Caychac Bourg stop, which takes 55 minutes and runs every 30 minutes. You just have a short 400 meter walk from the bus stop to the château. Alternatively, you can take tram Line C to Gare de Blanquefort and then change to the Line 29 bus, taking the bus to Caychac Bourg. Plan your journey.
Château Saint Ahon is open Monday – Saturday for guided visits by appointment only. Book your appointment online.
Château Marquis de Terme
It is possible to visit 1855 Grand Cru Classé châteaux, and one of our favorites is Château Marquis de Terme in Margaux. The village of Margaux does have a small train station, and you can easily take a day trip to Margaux from Bordeaux by train.
Château Marquis de Terme is what is known as a Fourth Growth on the scale of growths for the Official 1855 Classification of Médoc Wines. Château Marquis de Terme is emblematic of the famous terroir of Margaux and shares that terroir composition with famous neighbor, Château Margaux.
What we love about this Bordeaux winery is the hospitality. You’ll always leave feeling like part of the family. Château Marquis de Terme offers an 1855 Grand Cru Classé workshop, which is an extended visit lasting around 3 hours and you taste one wine from châteaux in each of the seven appellations included in the 1855 classification. It’s an excellent way to taste wines from various Bordeaux estates, and is one of very few – if not the only – château where you an taste wines other than their own.
How to get to Château Marquis de Terme on public transportation: Château Marquis de Terme can easily be reached from Bordeaux on public transportation. Take the train from Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean to Gare de Margaux. The château is located 900 meters from the village of Margaux, so can easily be walked to from the station in about 10-15 minutes.
Château Marquis de Terme is open by appointment only. You can select from various visits including the Classic Visit lasting 1 hour with a tasting of 2 wines of the château, the Bicycle Tour lasting 2.5 hours with a tasting of wines of the château accompanied by local products or the 1855 Grand Cru Classé workshop.
Another 1855 Grand Cru Classé château that can be reached from Bordeaux on public transportation is Château Kirwan, also located in Margaux. In fact, the Margaux appellation is one of the easiest of the seven appellations included in the 1855 Classification to reach on public transportation thanks to their train station in the village.
While Château Kirwan is a little further afield from the train station than Château Marquis de Terme or Château Rauzan Gassies, this area of the Médoc is gorgeous and you won’t mind a bicycle ride past vineyards to reach the château.
It’s well worth it the effort to get to Château Kirwan. Bordeaux wines are meant to be aged, but what you taste at châteaux are quite young vintages. We love the unique Vintage Tour at Château Kirwan, in which you can select from a list of special vintages as old as 1967. Your vintage is decanted especially for you while you visit the estate, then paired with some cheese as old vintages are meant to be enjoyed with food.
How to get to Château Kirwan on public transportation: Take the train from Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean to Gare de Margaux. The château is located 4 kilometers from the village of Margaux, so we recommend taking a vcub shared bike with you and bicycling to the château. Otherwise, it is about a 35 minute walk from the train station.
Château Kirwan is open by appointment only. You can select from various tours including a visit and tasting of 2 wines, a visit and tasting of 3 wines with cheese and ham, or the Vintage Tour.
Moving further north of Bordeaux, the Médoc wines generally increase in intensity. The Saint-Julien appellation is one of Bordeaux’s smallest, yet the highest concentration of 1855 Grand Cru Classé estates can be found there. One of our favorites is Château Léoville-Poyferré, a Second Growth, is located there.
The family-run château is well worth the effort of visiting, even if you aren’t renting a car to explore the Bordeaux wine region. The beautiful estate is located right in the heart of the village of Saint-Julien and the wines are some of the best in Bordeaux.
We particularly love the wine and chocolate tasting at Château Léoville-Poyferré. The thoughtful collaboration between the château and Hasnaâ, one of the best chocolate makers in Bordeaux, is a perfect marriage of wine and chocolate. This is the absolute best wine and chocolate tasting you’ll find anywhere in Bordeaux, and we assure you we’ve done the research to stand behind that statement.
How to get to Château Léoville-Poyferré on publication transportation: take the TransGironde bus 705 in the direction of Pauillac from Bordeaux in 1 hr 20 minutes. Be sure to check the schedule, and typically be prepared to wait a bit for your visit as the bus schedule doesn’t exactly line up with appointment times.
Château Léoville-Poyferré is open by appointment for visits and tastings. From April – October they also offer a tasting in the boutique without appointment.
Château Canon La Gaffelière
Heading across the river to Bordeaux’s Right Bank, Saint-Émilion also has a train station. It’s located at the bottom of a slop and about 1 kilometer from the village itself, but you can arrive in Saint-Émilion in just over 30 minutes time from Bordeaux. While the village itself might be a bit of a walk, Château Canon La Gaffelière, a Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B, sits directly across the road from the train station.
We’ve mentioned the 1855 Classification a lot, but no Right Bank appellations were ever included in it. The Saint-Émilion Classification wouldn’t start until 100 years later, with the first classification taking place in 1955. Also unlike the 1855 Classification, the Saint-Émilion Classification is often re-examined. Every 10 years the wines are re-classified and châteaux that have never been a part of it have a chance to become classified.
What we love about Château Canon La Gaffelière is their dedication to producing quality wines, and it becomes apparent just why they earned a Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B status in the 2012 Saint-Émilion Classification during the visit. They’re so dedicated to coaxing the best out of their vines that they even graft their very own vines on to rootstock. Most other châteaux purchase already grafted vines. If you’ve ever wanted to really learn about the vines and terroir, this is the Saint-Émilion winery to visit.
How to get to Château Canon La Gaffelière on public transportation: Château Canon-la-Gaffelière is easily reached by train from Bordeaux to Saint-Émilion. The château is located across the road from the train station.
Château Canon-la-Gaffelière is open for visits Monday – Friday by appointment only. Book your visit online.
Unlike Château Canon La Gaffelière who is located at the base of the Saint-Émilion slope, Château Soutard sits atop the plateau. The two Saint-Émilion estates have entirely different terroir and are a good contrast to each other.
One of the oldest estates of the Right Bank, Château Soutard is a grand farm and mill that dates back to 1513. Though it certainly doesn’t look anything like you might think when you think of a farm. The honey-colored house at the center of the courtyard is majestic. Inside the winery, chandeliers dangle into the vat room making a working space where wine is produced a place you want to linger.
What we love about this estate is that it one of few Bordeaux châteaux you can visit without an appointment. If a glass of wine is calling your name, you can enjoy a glass on Château Soutard’s terrace under an umbrella. Or you can tour the estate – yes, even without a prior arranged appointment – on one of the guided visits. Though we do recommend booking in advance especially in summer, as Saint-Émilion is one of the most visited Bordeaux wine appellations.
How to get to Château Soutard on public transportation: take train from Bordeaux to Saint-Émilion. Walk from the train station up to the top of the village, then on to Château Soutard just down the road. The walk takes around 30 minutes.
Château Soutard is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5:30pm in winter and daily during summer. Appointments aren’t required for the Classic Tour, but are highly recommended. Book your visit online.