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N°157

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the atypical wine tourism in Côtes de Bordeaux

13/06/2017

Created in 2007, the Côtes de Bordeaux trade union gathers under the same banner the terroirs of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs and Sainte-Foy with a collective brand: the Côtes de Bordeaux AOC (born in 2009). Consolidated by this new legitimacy, the Côtes de Bordeaux union gave a particular visibility to wine tourism in the five appellations. Stéphane Héraud, his president specifies that “each of the five sisters seized the importance the  wine tourism could represent to value their territory and show its dynamism”.
 

Castillon la Bataille

 

In Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Castillon asserts its will to distinguish itself by opting for unusual and very diverse activities. Horse riding, cycling, canoeing and plane, it incites to creativity. A flight over the domains of the appellation was imagined together with Libourne Aéroclub. With this plane (up to 3 passengers + the pilot), flying gives a ‘global’ perception of the area but the pilot can adapt to special demands and make a more precise flight, with a specific focus over certain estates. Before leaving, a tasting of a wine of the appellation enables to perceive the link with the vines. Plan approximately 45 minutes, including the tasting.

Le Château de Pitray

Château de Pitray Castillon asserts its will to distinguish itself by opting for unusual and very diverse activities. Horse riding, cycling, canoeing and plane, it incites to creativity. A flight over the domains of the appellation was imagined together with Libourne Aéroclub. With this plane (up to 3 passengers + the pilot), flying gives a ‘global’ perception of the area but the pilot can adapt to special demands and make a more precise flight, with a specific focus over certain estates. Before leaving, a tasting of a wine of the appellation enables to perceive the link with the vines. Plan approximately 45 minutes, including the tasting.

The Château Franc La Fleur seduces differently. In Saint-Magne-de-Castillon, Christian Jacquement experiments. In charge of the domain of 1.50 ha, completely planted in 2001, he resolutely opted for organic vine growing. The result is convincing. The elegance of the wines, the finesse of the tannins and the delicacy of the flavours convince. His wines balance between good structure and and poetry. Poetry is also to be seen in the garden. Aromatic plants, buddha's hand (Asian cedar), diverse berries, Japanese maples, the place hosts a lot of unusual species and can be visited.

 

In Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

Cadillac particularly focuses on the wine tourism, the heritage and the reception at the estate. Open doors on Pentecost with its traditional Rally of collector's cars, shows or cuisine workshops at the wine growers’ are examples of the entertainement proposed to the general public during the summer season.
 

Le Château de Biac

Domains are eager to share their everyday life. At Château de Biac, Youmna Asseyli organizes ‘wine and cheese’ and ‘wine and cold cuts’ workshops. She also proposes a picnic to enjoy in the vineyards. The idea meets great success. With a magnificent view over the Garonne river, this estate composed of a myriad of small geologically different plots of land, enabled the growing of an interesting range of grape varieties. Red wines are well-structured with a lot of aromas, and the sweet white surprises by its finesse.

 

In Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

Blaye diversifies the projects. Besides the inescapable ‘Printemps des Vins’ which gathers in April, 80 wine growers in the citadel of Blaye for a weekend of meetings and discoveries, the appellation is partner of the Marathon of the Blaye Wines and the mountain bike hike, wine & sport tourism initiatives. Moreover the citadel of Blaye shelters the Clos de l’Echauguette, a 'micro-vineyard' of the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux AOC that will be exceptionally open to the public for a great party on Wednesday, August 2nd.
 

Château Nodot

With this same heritage perspective, Château Nodot invites to a journey in the Middle Ages. Jessica Aubert, keen on this time, created an atypical universe. She organizes medieval dinners where she receives, dressed according to the medieval fashion, and cooks like in the year one thousand in pairing with her wines. Certified biodynamic by Demeter they have a real gustatory interest. The genuine commitment of this young wine grower to practice her art otherwise impacts on her wines. The notes of red and black berries perfectly translates the very essence of the fruit with an excellent freshness and a beautiful intensity.

 

In Francs Côtes de Bordeaux

The Château Godard Bellevue considers wine tourism differently. The wine tasting at the domain are possible but the creativity expresses through another choice: agroforestry. When the vines will be replanted, hedges and trees will also be between the rows. It will facilitate the development of flora and fauna. The stake is to restore and to perpetuate an ecosystem. The protection of the flora and the fauna enables indirectly to replace inputs, harmful for the vine, by natural processes. The tourists can be initiated to this practice perceived as avant-gardist. Here they can taste wines with supple but present tannins, with blackcurrant and black fruits notes.

 

Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux

The Sainte-Foy appellation has just joined the Côtes de Bordeaux Union. It will organize in August its Wine festival, also celebrating its integration and the 80th anniversary of the appellation. The domains multiply the initiatives. The Château Couronneau is a guesthouse. Its rooms are refined, spacious and their decoration is in link with the wine universe. It is possible to learn more about biodynamics, another type of crafting with experiences in amphoras, terracotta eggs and barrels. The wine evidences the efficiency of the approach. Tannins are fine, the notes of redcurrant contribute to give some freshness and delicacy. The tourists, sport lovers, will appreciate to practice the horse riding within the domain.
 

Château Couronneau

The Côtes de Bordeaux decided to give another perception of wine tourism in Bordeaux by creating a diversified, attractive offer. Between heritage, experiment and initiation to a real universe, the initiatives are varied and seduce. Between the lines the wine grower asserts himself as well as the intrinsic link with his wine. The tourist has the pleasure to observe, to understand.

Sofia Lafaye

 

 

 

Françoise Lannoye

Françoise LANNOYE

Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux President

 

You have a rather particular and diversified range of activities. How did you choose them?
We thought and spent time to develop this range. In Castillon, we have different types of wine, we wished, in parallel, to find several varieties of wine touristic activities. The flight over the appellation in a two-seater, the horseback excursion in the vineyard, the food and wine pairing lunches and others remind that “for each his Castillon, for each his wine tourism, for each his visit of a winery”.

What is the first asset of wine tourism?
It brings the wine grower and the consumer together. The visitor shares moments with the wine grower, enters in his universe, his everyday life and the conviviality is established. The latter is the very essence of the wine.

You offer the tourists a unique moment?
Indeed! It must be festive and the consumer will have an all the more strong memory of Castillon that he will know several wineries, and lived quantity of experiences. Besides, some of our proposals do not exist within the other appellations of Côtes de Bordeaux. It is interesting for us and feeds indirectly the plural identity of Côtes de Bordeaux.

 

 

 

Stéphane Héraud

Stéphane HÉRAUD

Union des Côtes de Bordeaux President

 

Did wine tourism develop through successive phases, linked to particular policies, or in a linear way with a certain adaptation of the ground?
There is no need to set up a wine touristic policy strictly speaking in the Côtes de Bordeaux appellations. The reception tradition at the property and welcoming the visitors “at home” is anchored in the DNA of our appellation. The role of the union simply was to make better known all the individual initiatives.

Does the organization of the wine tourism in Côtes de Bordeaux work in a pyramidal way where the choices taken by the union, or do you incite every appellation to have their own creativity?
Each of our appellations seized the importance wine tourism could represent to value their terroir and show its dynamism. We exchange constantly with our appellations, encourage them in their project and try to promote their numerous initiatives every time we can.

What advice would you give to other wine growers to convince them of the interest of wine tourism?
One should not commit in wine tourism by fashion, because it is trendy. It is necessary to do it with conviction and because it corresponds to a real project, a real desire but also a manner of being. There is a real impact, we cannot deny it because the wine grower who engages in wine tourism makes himself available every time the clientele asks for it. He is at the same time a wine grower, a consultant and a host.

Wine tourism in Côtes de Bordeaux claims to be creative. Creativity probably part of the identity of Côtes. What do you think?
Among 20 keywords that represent us, we find creativity, boldness, dynamism … It is thus logical that it can be felt in our actions and in those of our wine growers! This creativity is expressed the wine growers’ sense of listening and their strong closeness with the public. We still sell a lot at the estate; for the wine tourism, it is a strength.

What target would be for you ideal the French, the international clientele?
There is no ideal target. We are delighted to welcome a growing international clientele in our appellations, on the events we organize or we support. These visitors are future influencers for our regions and our wines … Just like the French people! France abounds in beautiful regions: we have to show that there are also beautiful things to be seen in the Bordeaux vineyard, and especially in the Côtes de Bordeaux appellations.

 

Printemps des Vins de Blaye