My Top 5 Wine Tasting Chateaux in Bergerac France

Wine Tasting Tour Bergerac France

MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE WINE TASTING CHATEAUX IN BERGERAC FRANCE

Touring fabulous vineyards along a classic ‘route des vins’ for wine tasting is sure to be right at the top of an exciting list of must-do experiences for many people holidaying and visiting France, and for this reason I have specially curated for you, my own Top 5 favourite wine tasting chateaux in Bergerac France.

I’ve been fortunate to live like a local in France on and off for several years (while housesitting) and, as I write this article, I’m preparing to return for a few months of housesitting in late summer.

The part of France that I’m personally most familiar with is The Dordogne.

The Dordogne Department is the third largest Department in France and is named after the Dordogne River, which is the third longest river in France. The Region is also known by three different names because it’s also known as Nouvelle Aquitaine and as The Perigord (the original name preferred by the French people) because it was formerly known as The Perigord Province.

The name Perigord itself derives from the name Perigueux – the stunningly beautiful and historically important current capital city of the Dordogne Department – an area which extends to Sarlat in the east and Bergerac in the south.

And, it’s in the beautiful and medieval market town of Bergerac in the south of the Dordogne, where you will find wine treasures in the form of white, red, and rose.

Bergerac. Photo by Janice Horton The Backpacking Housewife Website
Bergerac

While I’m back in France later this year, I’ll be staying in a small village not too far from Bergerac. During previous visits to this part of France, whenever we’ve had friends or family visiting us during the spring and summer and early autumn months, we’ve always included a wine tasting tour in the Bergerac wine producing area as a highlight in our visitors holiday itinerary.

MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE WINE TASTING CHATEAUX IN BERGERAC FRANCE

So, this bespoke tour of FIVE fabulous wine chateaux in the Bergerac area, is my own personally curated and handpicked and especially recommended and (delightfully oh-so-familiar) winery, vineyard, and wine tasting tour!

Janice Horton. The Backpacking Housewife in a French Vineyard
In the vineyard!

These wine tastings at my bespoke tour of five wineries are offered free of charge to visitors (correct at the time of writing) but, of course, I’m sure, that after tasting these fabulous wines and learning about how the vines are cultivated and grown and the wine is made, you’ll want to purchase a bottle or two or three or four!

The Backpacking Housewife and Backpacking Husband in the vineyards
The Backpacking Housewife and Backpacking Husband in the vineyards
MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE WINE TASTING CHATEAUX IN BERGERAC FRANCE THE BACKPACKING HOUSEWIFE

TIME AND DISTANCE: Just one of the wonderful things about this bespoke vineyard tour is that it can be easily managed over the course of an afternoon (depending on from where you are driving) because the total driving time between each of the chateaux from (starting at Point A and ending at Point E) is approximately 40 minutes. This allows plenty of non-driving time to allow for chateau viewing, inspecting vines and learning about grapes, wine tasting, and wine purchasing!

Of course, depending on from which direction you are driving, you can easily reverse or change the the order in which you visit each chateau.

Wine Route The Backpacking Housewife

Click on the interactive GOOGLE MAP for more details on driving directions and distance.

MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE WINE TASTING CHATEAUX IN BERGERAC FRANCE

A NOTE ABOUT TIMING: I’m recommending you start your wine tasting tour apres-midi (in the afternoon) to avoid the regulatory French two-hour lunch breaks and the closure common to most establishments in France at midday.

If this doesn’t suit you, do check the website links for the opening days and times for each chateau throughout the season as they are often subject to changes throughout the year and to avoid any disappointment.

We’ve never had to book and prearrange our visits and have simply showed up for wine tastings but again, if it’s the busy summer season, then perhaps it might be sensible to visit to the chateau’s website to check things out while you’re initially planning your wine tasting tour.

A PRE-LUNCH TIME TOUR TIP: If you do prefer to set out in the morning, then I might suggest you start the tour at Point A (Chateaux Monbazillac) because in the high summer season they often remain open the whole day and during lunch time (check the website for opening times during your planned visit). That way you can enjoy the wine tasting on offer in the visitor’s centre before lunch and then, having brought along your own picnic, enjoy déjeuner en plein air (an outdoor lunch) in the beautiful and elevated grounds of the chateau with views over beautiful Bergerac or even amongst the vines, before heading on to the next chateaux in the wine tasting tour during the early afternoon.

Views from the vineyards to Bergerac. The Backpacking Housewife
Views from the vineyards to Bergerac

A Note About Drinking and Driving

Please note that I would NEVER advocate drinking wine and driving a vehicle. I must advocate that you either take a taxi for this tour or do as we do and allocate a non-drinking driver.

THE CHATEAUX: I’ve chosen these particular 5 Wine Tasting Chateaux in Bergerac for the eclectic mix of impressively grand – surrounded by its own vast vineyards in an elevated position with views over the whole of the Bergerac area (Chateau Monbazillac) – to the more homely ‘farmhouse style’ chateaux, with fabulously long histories of making excellent wines (Chateau Corbiac, Chateau Belingard, and Chateau de Tiregand) compared to the perhaps more classically tres chic and modern wine tasting experience offered by Chateau La Brie.

THE TOUR: The tours I’ve chosen for you offer both French and English-speaking wine guides. To help with the navigation, I’ve included these useful Google Maps to show the location of each chateau and the distances involved for this tour of my Top 5 Favourite Wine Tasting Chateaux in Bergerac. Bon appetite!

MY TOP 5 FAVOURITE WINE TASTING CHATEAUX IN BERGERAC FRANCE

The Backpacking Housewife at Chateau Monbazillac
The Backpacking Housewife at Chateau Monbazillac

A: Chateau Monbazillac

Chateau Monbazillac

Chateau Monbazillac is one of the most beautiful chateaux to be seen in the Monbazillac commune. Standing on its lofty escarpment, surrounded by its 3500 hectares of vineyards, it looks like a castle from a fairy tale.

The chateau with its turrets and roundels is visible long before you reach it and once you’ve parked up in the shaded wooded carpark, you’ll be delighted to find the chateau is viewed and approached via a long walkway flanked by well-tended vines.

Built in 1550 and listed as a historical monument, castle tours to view the finely decorated rooms and artwork, are available. But, despite beauty and the history of the chateau, it could be argued that Monbazillac is far more celebrated for its highly reputed and elegant dessert (sweet) wine.

Monbazillac wine is without doubt the most famous wine produced in the Dordogne.

The vineyards here can be traced back to the even earlier times of Benedictine Monasteries of the 11th century. The wine is produced from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes.

Interestingly, Monbazillac vineyards are owned by a cooperative of fifty winegrowers and so there are many wonderful wines – reds, whites (both dinner and dessert wines) and rose – to taste and to buy on site, as well as souvenirs to take home to remind you of your visit long after the last drop of wine has been finished.

Chateau Mobazillac Website

B. Chateau La Brie

Wine Tasting at Chateau La Brie. The Backpacking Housewife.
Wine Tasting at Chateau La Brie

Chateau La Brie was once privately owned but the estate was bought in 1962 by the towns of Bergerac and Monbazillac in order for the Ministry of Agriculture to establish an wine high school to effectively train the winegrowers of tomorrow.

The estate officially recognizes environmentally friendly practices has been partially certified in Organic Agriculture Since 2010. Since 2013, Château la Brie has held level III of the HVE (High Environmental Value) standard. Their aim is to be fully certified organic from the 2023 vintage.

Château La Brie has been regularly rewarded for the quality of its wines.

The different types of wine produced at Chateau La Brie are: Monbazillac – Bergerac Sec – Côte de Bergerac Moelleux – Bergerac Rouge – Bergerac Rosé.

Chateau La Brie’s modern winery complex can be found just south of Bergerac on the Monbazillac road and offers a friendly wine tasting experience and a range of it’s wines for tasting and for purchase. The wines here are, in my opinion, fabulous and sold at a very affordable price.

Chateau La Brie Website

C: Chateau Belingard

Chateau Belingard. The Backpacking Housewife
Chateau Belingard

Chateau Belingard is a family home and sits rather grandly on the slopes of rolling hillside on the left Bank of the Dordogne River. The views from the front aspect of the chateau and over the valley and of the vineyards are breathtakingly beautiful.

The chateau was restored in 1820, and since then, several generations have been and gone.

Today, the chateau and the terroir and the vineyards at Chateau Belingard, are thriving from the love and care and devotion bestowed upon them by seven generations of the same family.

Since 1936 the wines from Chateau Belingard belong to the AOC : Bergerac Blanc Sec – Bergerac Rose – Bergerac Rouge – Côtes de Bergerac Rouge – Côtes de Bergerac Blanc – Monbazillac.

Chateau Belingard is open all year and is delighted to welcome wine lovers, connoisseurs and experts, or just tourists with a passing interest in wine. You will hear all about wine-growing and winemaking work as well as the 200-year history of a family dedicated to its Monbazillac and Bergerac land. I did a self-guided tour of the winery using a headset and recording device provided as a pre-courser to the tasting. I can heartily recommend this wonderful winery and wine tasting experience.

Chateau Belingard Website

D: Chateau Corbiac

Wine tasting at Chateau Corbiac
Chateau Corbiac

Chateau Corbiac is the ancestral home of Cyrano de Bergerac of literary fame. This beautiful property has remained well loved for centuries and seventeen generations of the same family. The current Corbiac family traces its heritage back to 1587.

This ancient vineyard produces Pecharmant wine – a wine appellation for certain wines produced in the hills to the North-East of the market town of Bergerac – and in this wine-growing region, the wines must be made from grapes from these four grape varieties: the côt (malbec), merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Pecharmant is a powerful, intense, aromatic red wine that ages well.

Pecharmant wine is traditionally seen as the finest wine of this region. It is produced exclusively in the oldest collective of vineyards in the region of Bergerac. At Chateau Corbiac, you will be offered a warm and personable welcome and a knowledgeable guided tasting of their famous and fabulous wines. I was fascinated and educated and most thankful for this wonderful wine tasting experience.

Chateau Corbiac Website

E: Chateau de Tiregand

Wine Tasting at Chateau Tiregand. The Backpacking Housewife.
Chateau Tiregand

Chateau Tiregand: For the past five centuries, the award winning Pecharmant wine at Chateau de Tiregand has been passionately produced by the family and heirs of the Comtesse F. de SAINT-EXUPERY. The grand estate is situated on the Pecharmant slopes and in the heart of the famed Pecharmant vineyards.

Grape varieties: At Chateau de Tiregand the Pecharmant is a blend of Merlot (54%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), Cabernet Franc (18%) and Malbec (5%). 

At Chateau de Tiregand you will be offered an introduction to the Pecharmant appellation and other Bergerac wines, a walk among the vines, then a visit to the winery to discuss the blending of the grape varieties. Discover the secrets of aging wine in barrels and the arts of the cellar.

We were offered a platter of delicious French cheese to compliment our wine tasting and our wine guide was wonderfully knowledgeable and friendly. The wine is amazing. I bought a fine wine from this chateau especially to drink over Christmas.

Chateau Tiregand Website

If you’re reading this in anticipation of a trip to France to include exploring vineyards and tasting wine, I do hope you find my personally curated and recommended ‘route des vins’ useful, and that you will have a most enjoyable time!

My Bergerac wine haul. The Backpacking Housewife
My Bergerac Wine Tour Haul….

Are you planning at trip to France and to the Dordogne?

Do you enjoy French wine?

Did you take my tour?

Do let me know!

I’d love to hear from you so drop a comment at the end of this post or message directly using my CONTACT ME link.

Bon voyage!

If you love France and all things French but are not French yourself then you might also enjoy my informative and amusing post TEN THINGS TO DO IN FRANCE TO MAKE YOU FEEL MORE FRENCH as preparation for your next trip to France!

10 THINGS TO DO IN FRANCE TO MAKE YOU FEEL FRENCH THE BACKPACKING HOUSEWIFE

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