France: Bordeaux

Bordeaux City and its Négociants

The heart of the City
By Jane Anson

This Guide was last updated on 16 June 2012
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Château Pape-Clément

Address: 216 Avenue de Dr Nancel Pénard, 33600 Pessac
Tel: 05 57 26 38 38  Fax: 05 57 26 38 39
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 44:48:21N (44.80574)    Longitude: -0:38:48W (-0.64679) 

One of the oldest estates in Bordeaux, dating back to Pope Clément V way back in the 13th century, it is very easy to reach from downtown, although use the detailed directions to make it through the maze of suburbia. If you are lucky, you will get a glimpse of the charismatic owner, Bernard Magrez, who owns properties all over the region, and further afield, making wine both for himself and a number of celebrity pals, including Gerard Depardieu. Pape-Clément is the jewel in the crown though, and you get the full star treatment on this tour – a recreated ‘chapel’ below the château, complete with crypt, marble sarcophagus and piped organ music. There is also an attractive glass ‘orangerie’, and a shop on the premises selling the entire Magrez range – if you order a 12-bottle case, it will be delivered to your hotel in a Rolls Royce! Look out for the horses that plough the vines for the white wine.

Useful information: Open every day, year round with four visits at 10.30, 11.30, 14.30 and 16.30 except Sunday when only the 10.30 visit in French (09.30 in English) takes place. €20 for Wine Connoisseur's Tour into winery, cellar and crypt, with guided tasting of Pape Clement plus two other Magrez wines, €49 for Wine Taster's Tour with tutored tasting by sommelier, or €99 for Wine Collector’s Tour with a private and guided tasting by Bernard Magrez’s personal sommelier of the three Grands Crus. Groups up to 25. English spoken.


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