During our recent visit to Bordeaux. We had to make sure that we would spend a day outside of the city and into the beautiful French countryside.
We visited the St Emilion region around 45 minutes from Bordeaux, with a UNESCO heritage site and some will argue the worlds best at producing red wine. The landscape is simply stunning, as are the choice of chateaux's offering unique and luxurious stays. But also some of the best wine tasting experiences we have ever had the privilege to take part in.
Not only that, but many of course have also some gastronomic wonders to sample and compliment the wine they produce.
Château Hôtel Grand Barrail 5*
Our first stop was Château Hôtel Grand Barrail. Surrounded by vineyards, it has beautiful boutique hotel. Within the hotel it has a stunning private dining room, spa, high class restaurant, amazing outside terrace, courtyard and grounds and of course tasting room.
This would be an amazing choice for both private leisure and corporate groups. But in our opinion, for corporates it's best feature would work really well as a Leaders lunch or dinner with tasting. Or for leisure it would bring a real special luxury stay experience.
Literally no more than 10 minutes down from Grand Barrall. Château Montlabert has a more functional chateau. But equally stunning in look and design. There is a possibility to stay here, but this is more in our opinion and event space for corporates and somewhere you can rerally learn about wine and wine making.
The grounds are vast and would serve well for an outdoor reception. It also has some indoor event space for dining, tastings and meetings. There is also a small wine shop on site to buy some of the fantastic produce they make here.
The real gem, especially for either events or a real wine experience is the distillery. Unlike some of the other producers we saw. Montlabert have really embraced more modern manufacturing and techniques. The indoor space around the casks and vats would not only work for a great event space. But it also serves up an engaging, interactive presentation on the process of wine and wine making. That alone makes a visit here so worth while.
Couvent des Jacobins
Set in a UNESCO heritage town, Couvent des Jacobins is a 13th century Monastery. For small groups and those who simply want to know about the origins in making red wine - this is the place to come. It's rustic charm gives it value and character and is a perfect place to come as a group for lunch and a wine experience.
It features a nice outdoor terrace and small garden, working well for a reception. As well as a beautiful private dining room for small groups. But underneath it all is the the real gem. A maze of old tunnels that actually spread throughout the town. Here they store their wine in the perfect conditions and in fact some buyers even store their vintage collection here!
A must see and perfect experience for real wine lovers and incentive groups.
Château de Candale
Like Montlabert, Château de Candale is more on the modern side compared to Jacobins for example. Here you have acres of vineyards all around you. It has a fantastic restaurant that would work well for leisure, senior team lunches, or small group lunch receptions. Again, this is more functional as an event space or incentive wine experience. They do have some small event space for meetings and recpetions as well as an amazing wine tour and tasting experience. Exploring how they make and produce wine here along with an hour long tasting masterclass - probably the best of all the wine we sampled that day. But then all were very very good!
What an amazing day! For red wine enthusiasts this is an absolute tick box must see and experience visit. But even for those who are not huge wine drinkers, it still works for a fantastic experience.
For leisure groups, you are surrounded by stunning countryside, luxurious, unique accommodation and some of the best food and beverage you have ever tasted.
For corporates, it serves so well in your event plan as a day outside of the city. Your group will have an incredibly memorable incentive experience. Your senior team can have a first class meeting with lunch and tasting experience.
For more on what Bordeaux and St Mellion have to offer both for corporate events or wine tourism. Get in touch with the team - firstname.lastname@example.org