East of Libourne
By Jane Anson
This Guide was last updated on 14 May 2010
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Address: 33126 La Rivière
Tel: 05 57 55 56 51 Fax: 05 57 55 56 54
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 44:56:12N (44.93668) Longitude: -0:18:44W (-0.31214)
A very impressive set up for visitors, with 50ha that make it easily the largest estate in the Fronsac appellation, and large grounds for strolling around. Some of the vines here are over 80 years old, which sadly is practically unheard of in Bordeaux today, and others stand just a few metres from the river Dordogne, protecting them from winter frosts. Unusually also for the Right Bank, there is a relatively high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine, up to 13%, giving it structure and good ageing potential. The château itself is no less impressive, from the wrought iron gates to the underground cellars that are some of the biggest in Bordeaux covering eight hectares. The guided visits begin in the lovely central courtyard with a presentation of the vineyard, then the history of the château and a look though the cellars. You can also visit the exhibition of old arms and weapons, and there’s a shop where you can have a free tasting of two vintages and wines can be purchased direct. Try the special cuvée Aria du Château de la Rivière. In 2005 the Gregoire family opened five beautiful chambres d’hôtes rooms, available from €130 with a small spa available for guests.
Useful information: Open Monday to Saturday from June, July, August without appointment – visits at 10.30, 14.30 and 16.30 with a tour of the cellars and a tasting. The rest of the year open on weekdays by appointment only, 09.00-12.30 and 13.30-17.30. Visit €5. Groups welcome (maximum 25). Guided visits in English or French last 90 minutes.
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