Top Wineries to Visit in Saint-Émilion Near Bordeaux

winemaker in the barrel room

You may have heard that Saint-Émilion is a must visit when in Bordeaux.  

I completely agree. Moreover, this Bordeaux wine region is my favourite: rolling hills, vineyards as far as the eye can see, the 15th century bell tower of the town of Saint-Émilion dominating the landscape, some exquisite restaurants with vineyard views, and hundreds of wineries: famous and small, historic and modern – any winelover’s dream.

 

tower of Saint-Emilion
In the town of Saint-Émilion

I have been guiding people through Saint-Émilion for several years now and these are my recent finds of the best wineries to visit in Saint-Émilion wine country if you are looking for a self-guided wine tour.  These wineries are easy to book through Rue des Vignerons.  They do not require any special introduction and some of them offer free tastings (see below).

winery with a castle
I took my mom to Château de Pressac and it was her favourite

Château de Pressac is the most beautiful castle in Saint-Émilion with the best views over.  This grand cru classé winery is very welcoming.  They offer a variety of wine experiences. I recommend booking a private tour at the winery as grouped tours can get quite large.  

Keep in mind that the estate is located approximately 20 minutes away from the town of Saint-Émilion.  You will need a car to get there. 

Interesting fact: only two people live in the castle since the current owner acquired it in the 90s for a bargain price.

 

The beautiful restaurant setting at L'Atelier de Candale

Not too far from Château de Pressac, at the floor of the valley is Château de Candale, a small family winery owned by Magali and Thibaut Decoster with a beautiful gastronomic restaurant onsite.  

Also consider these easy to join and reasonably priced guided tours:

Full-day Saint-Emilion Guided Tour

If you only have several hours to spare, there are half-day tours from Bordeaux:

Half-day Saint-Emilion Guided Tour

These tours run in the morning or in the afternoon.

The modern winery at Château La Croizille

While you are still in the area, I also recommend stopping by Château La Croizille, even if for just a glass of wine. Owned by a Belgian family, Château la Croizille offers a modern winery experience and astonishing views.  

For those, who plan a meal in the wine country, Château La Croizille provides a picnic option. Get a basket with French picnic foods, and enjoy the views of vineyards and the valley.

I also like this winery since it allows to taste wines of sister chateau Château Haut-Breton Lariguardière in the Margaux area of the Medoc.

winemaker in the barrel room
With Élodie, one of the owners at Château Grangey

Nearby you will find a gem of Saint-Emilion, Château Grangey,  grand cru and a small family winery restored by Franck Mio and his wife Elodie.  The estate produces excellent Saint-Émilion wines.  In fact, this is where I would go if I wanted to bring some wine home.  Prices are still reasonable for this quality of wine.

The visit is intimate and often you get to talk to the owners and meet their lovely dog.

Limestone buildings at Château Franc Mayne

On the other side of Saint-Émilion, you find Château Franc Mayne.  This grand cru classé estate is a small 7 hectare vineyard located on the limestone plateau. Underneath the winery, there are vast underground cellars in the place of the old Gallo-Roman galleries.  This is truly something unusual and well worth a visit if you are touring Saint-Émilion.

Château Franc Mayne also houses a beautiful hotel with a swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. Charmant!

Dog in vineyard

Château Fonroque is a must visit for those who wants to learn more about biodynamic wines.  Here is the chance to taste wines of Alain Moueix, the pioneer of biodynamic winemaking. 

Château Fonroque was recently renovated. The grounds are vast and gorgeous.  In my opinion, it offers excellent value on their vertical tastings.  Highly recommended!

There is a kid’s area at the estate if you a travelling with little ones.

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I have recently realized that These wineries in Saint-Émilion offer free tastings. Among them are Château le Chatelet which feels like an American winery experience where you can taste wines at the counter, and a small family estate Vignobles Jean-Louis Trocard.

Cloister of the Saint-Emilion Church (Free Visit)

If you are exploring Saint-Émilion without a car, consider visiting wineries located right in the town of Saint-Émilion.  You will discover their legendary underground cellars and taste wines created by the terroirs of the limestone plateau running underneath the town of Saint-Émilion. 

I recommend making a reservation at either Couvent des Jacobins or Château Guadet.

For more information on exploring Saint-Emilion without car view my article Do You Need a Car in Saint-Émilion? 

The Guide to Visiting Saint-Émilion could also be helpful in planning your visit to this wine country gem.

If you need to tailor your itinerary to your specific interests and make reservations for your day at Saint-Émilion wineries and restaurants please consider my Bordeaux wine tour booking service.  

Enjoy your visit!

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Polina

Hi, my name is Polina. I am a sommelier and a wine tour guide in Bordeaux, France.

I organize private Bordeaux wine tours.

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