France: Bordeaux

Southern Graves and Sauternes

Home of the great sweet whites - dry whites and reds too
By Jane Anson

This Guide was last updated on 11 May 2010
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Château La Tour Blanche

Address: 33210 Bommes
Tel: 05 57 98 02 73  Fax: 05 57 98 02 78
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 44:32:34N (44.54267)    Longitude: -0:21:7W (-0.35192) 

One of the most informative visits in Sauternes is on offer here, as there is both a viticulture school (run as a national school, completely separately from the château), and a good wine tasting school, within the château grounds. The estate itself is fairly large – some 70ha looking over the pretty village of Bommes. The wines are aged in new oak, and can take a few years to reveal their excellence, but this was placed second after Château d’Yquem in the original 1855 classification. The guided visit includes a tour of the vineyards (weather permitting) followed by a visit of the winery with explanations of all the different processes. A wine tasting concludes the visit, and there is the possibility of buying wine direct. The château also offers a free self-guided walking tour, called ‘Parcours en Sauternais’, around the estate where noticeboards at regular stops along the way explain the estate and the intricacies of making Sauternes wine.  The estate often takes part in local events, staging jazz festivals and other musical and cultural events.

Useful information: All year round from Monday to Friday, 09.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.00. Free for individuals; €4.60 per person for groups. English spoken.


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