When is the Best Time to Come to Bordeaux?
Visiting Bordeaux is a always a treat. Taste excellent wines, visit historic chateaux and enjoy breathtaking landscapes and architecture.
To make the most of your visit to this great city and its famous wineries, choose the right season.
Fall in Bordeaux
If you are into wine, one of the best times for a wine tour is September and October around the harvest time.
You can walk in vineyards and taste ripe berries of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Merlot is usually the first to ripen and be harvested and made into wine, while Cabs would be the last. Usually wineries will let you taste the fermenting juice and young wine.
At the early stages of winemaking, wines of different grape varieties are kept separately. During our wine tours, the cellar master would let us try barrel samples of all these different wines and compare them with his final aged wine.
Sorting at Chateau Beausejour-Becot, Saint-Emilion.
During this time of the year, wine country is lively with international crowds of harvest pickers and tourists.
The French government recently announced that picking can be done by tourists as long as they are doing that as part of the touristic visit and not for a salary. I am waiting for the most prestigious wineries to allow harvesting. Wouldn’t it be nice to contribute to the amazing wines of Chateau Margaux?
It is typically sunny and comfortable at the end of the summer. This is the time when excitement about the new vintage is in the air. At the wineries, you will see grape bunches jumping on the sorting tables, working pumps, full fermenting vats with bubbly juice, nervous winemakers, spontaneous mini-labs and all sorts of action. Things are busy, exciting and little messy.
Fall temperatures remain pleasant up until early November. November and December in Bordeaux can be quite rainy.
Some wineries stop regular tours at the end of October.
Pickers at Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, Medoc.
Spring in Bordeaux
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Bordeaux as well. Vines are waking up. Blossoming fruit trees, colourful tulips and poppies are everywhere. Smell fresh grass, watch horses ploughing. Weather is usually comfortable but could be unstable with some sprinkles and occasional thunderstorms.
Vines are flowering in May and June.
This time of the year is special in Bordeaux. During the first week of April, wine professionals flock to Bordeaux to taste the newest vintage. En Primeurs is an incredible experience, where all chateaux let you taste their ageing wines from barrels. I tasted 250 different wines in a week including all the top growths. What a treat!
Even if you are not a wine pro, don’t worry, we might still be able to taste wines directly from barrels on our spring Bordeaux wine tours.
Every other year around mid-May, Bordeaux welcomes VinExpo, one of the largest wine salons. If you don’t plan to participate, it is better to avoid that week as the hotel rooms may be scarce.