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Picnics

Bordeaux chateaux have lots of options for al fresco dinning from sophisticated terraces to relaxed picnics, here are some of our favourite picnic spots and the wines to go with them.

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Château de Cérons in the Graves organises charming picnics in the park in front of the spectacular 17th century chateau that Caroline and Xavier are bringing back to its former glory. You can choose from a red, white, gold or orange picnic selection and of course the red, white, golden or orange wines to go with it  - or have a glass of each. They’ve installed loungers made from old wooden vats so you can always sleep it off afterwards!  

 

Keeping it sweet, head a little further south to Château Sigalas Rabaud in Sauternes where Laure de Lambert serves ‘picnic paniers’ on her beautiful terrace. Take your swimsuit too, she has a gorgeous lap pool right there. As well as her sweet wines, try her dry Sémillon, La Semillante, and if she has some handy (it sells like hot cakes) try a glass of her Sparkling Sémillon La Marquise.

 

 

On summer weekends in the Entre deux Mers, Château Grand Verdus hosts wine and tapas evenings accompanied by live music and, in their fortified courtyard, Chateau Toulouse Lautrec hosts events from musical ‘aperos’ to concerts and shows with picnic baskets and wine to hand.

Nearer to the city, Château Malartic-Lagraviere in Pessac Léognan are known for their wine flavoured gastronomy. They offer their ‘pique nique chic’ under the pin trees in the park with a personal BBQ and a selection of wines. https://www.malartic-lagraviere.com.

On the right bank, of course, enjoy Sally’s platters on the terrace of Château George 7overlooking the vines. Facing due west, sunset is the best time for an apero-picnic. 

Also in Fronsac, Château La Dauphine on the banks of the Dordogne, is a stunning spot to enjoy their wines with a picnic they put together for you from local and season produce. choose a spot in the grounds or by the pool of the 18th century chateau. 

 

In Saint Emilion, enjoy a glass of Crémant de Bordeaux in the grounds of the old cloisters. It’s made right beneath your feet in the cellars of Les Cordelliers. Their snack bar sells a range of pâtés, cheeses, fresh bread and other treats you can combine to make your own picnic and take it away in a mini harvesters basket to choose a shady spot under the medieval arches or trees. 

 

Aso in Saint Emilion, take the ‘Two Banks of Bordeaux’ tour at Grand Corbin in Saint Emilion, an introduction to right and left banks of Bordeaux, then stay in the garden for another glass with a platter of local cheeses and charcuterie. 

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The Médoc 

Throughout the summer Château Loudenne, the beautiful pink château on the banks of the Gironde in Saint Yzans de Medoc, welcomes visitors for a tour and tasting followed by a picnic in the grounds. And the grounds are huge. You can spread your picnic blanket on the lawn, in the rose garden or sit at one of the picnic tables at the water’s edge and enjoy some local specialties with your bottle of wine. 

 

Fresh baguettes, cheeses, cold cuts salads and sweet macaroons are all part of the Gourmet picnic baskets at Château Lamothe Bergeron in Haut Médoc. make sure you do the fun interactive tour and tasting first though.

Château Giscours 

Château Giscours is the first château you see as you enter the prestigious appellation of Margaux. The most spectacular parkland surrounds the grandiose 19th century château. Enjoy a picnic prepared especially for you by their chef in residence using fresh local products and served  the banks of the lake overlooking the château 

 

Just to the north of the city, Chateau le Taillan offers a country picnic, cold meats and cheeses, fresh bread, cherry tomatoes, seasonal fruit, Bordeaux cannelés, coffee and a glass, or two, of their red or rosé wine are all included. Settle in at one of the garden tables in the park under the century-old-trees. If you prefer action to a siesta after lunch, try your hand at their games of boulles and Mölkky.

What to drink with your summer picnic 

Chill your red! Yes, there are wonderful whites and rosés to choose from all across the region but if you love your reds, as I do, chill them down and serve them all summer long. Chose a fruity red not too tannic, as cooling can mask the fruit a little and accentuate the tannins. Find a red wine with lots of fresh fruit and not too much oak. Pop it on ice and enjoy. 

 

Here’s to a long hot summer. 

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