France: Bordeaux

Northern Médoc

The wines of Saint Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estèphe
By Jane Anson

This Guide was last updated on 05 March 2010
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Château La Tour de By

Address: 33340 Bégadan
Tel: 05 56 41 50 03  Fax: 05 56 41 36 10
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 45:22:42N (45.37837)    Longitude: -0:51:10W (-0.85283) 

Frederic Le Clerc, 37 year old grandson of the late Marc Pagès has recently taken over this 75-hectare Cru Bourgeois Supérieur estate, and is really opening it up to wine tourism. Visitors can climb up the eponymous tower (actually an old lighthouse dating from 1825), from where you get a lovely view of the surrounding vineyards – and a long walking tour around the vineyard, with explanatory signs, makes a good change from cellar visits. More sweeping views can be found from parts of the old wooden vat rooms – and the handsome château itself is worth a look around. There is also an interesting wine museum that has, among other exhibits, a pram that allowed nursing mothers to wheel their babies through the vines while they were grape picking. A video shows Marc Pagès speaking about the history of the property.

Useful information: Free tour and tasting (of two wines, one in barrel and one older vintage,  plus a rosé and the second wine, La Roque de By), Monday to Friday: 08.00-12.00 and 13.30-17.30 (16.30 on Friday). Open weekends also in July and August, from 11.00-17.00, by appointment. Tours in English (but call ahead to check the right person is there), German (summer only) and French, and groups welcome (normally maximum 50, although more may be considered). Appointments necessary only for groups. Can also buy the wines direct.


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