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Wine lovers pack your bags and head to France. The country is synonymous with good wines, particularly Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc, with various regions of the country specializing in specific types of wine. If you’re a true fan and in need of some fresh, local wine, you can’t miss out on a trip to France. From stunning castles to the greenest of greens, lessons in wine production, and a good bottle to unwind with, wine tourism in France is a booming industry, and it’s easy to see why. It can be hard to find the right spots, but here are six of the most beautiful vineyards and wineries in France.
1. Château Gaudrelle, Loire Valley
Chateau Gaudrelle, located in France’s Loire Valley, is one of France’s best vineyards. The Loire Valley is famous for its incredible food, style, and of course, wines. Located right in between northern and southern France, Chateau Gaudrelle takes you through a complete tour of the vineyard on the side of the Vouvray Cliffs. The picturesque views of perfect lines of grapes and colonial architecture make just seeing the property worth the trip. The 45-minute tour takes you to the vineyards, wine cellars, and to a wine tasting. Try Chateau Gaudrelle’s Chinon red wine, as well as some regional specialties. Check out some of the other tours and workshops available, including the cheese and wine pairing.
2. Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac
Located in Southern France, Chateau Pape Clement is every wine-lovers dream vineyard. The winery is famous for its rich history and incredible natural beauty in the Bordeaux Region, one of the top French wine regions. In fact, the vineyard is one of the oldest in France, dating all the way back to 1252. With beautiful greenery and stunning castles, the property is a dream. Plus, enjoy delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot straight from the vineyard. You’ll be treated like royalty between the wines and the views at Chateau Pape Clement.
3. Château de Pitray, Bourdeaux
Follow the wine route to Chateau de Pitray, outside Bourdeaux. The vineyard is known for the superb Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as the stunning landscapes all around. The castle has been owned by the same family for nearly 600 years, and has nearly 75 acres of vineyards, producing thousands of bottles of wine each year for the past 300 years. The castle itself looks like something out of a fairytale, and the grounds and flavors will surely enchant you.
4. Château Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac
Good news for wine lovers, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is waiting for your visit. With stunning scenery and fine wine, the castle and grounds are the perfect combinations. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is one of France’s biggest vineyards, with over 100 acres of red grapes and green vines. There are three main areas to the grounds: the hillsides, Carruades plateau, and Saint Estephe. The vineyard produces various types of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Head over for tours of the grounds and cellars, then try a sip yourself.
5. Olivier Leflaive, Burgundy
Fan of Pinot Noir? You can’t miss out on a trip to Burgundy, one of the world’s best regions for a good Pinot Noir. Find these grapes and local wine at the gorgeous Olivier Leflaive vineyard in Puligny-Montrachet and take a tour of the grounds as you learn all about the winemaking process on the property. While wine tasting is not offered in the tour itself, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to try a glass while you’re in town. Plus at Olivier Leflaive, you have the chance to stay in the mansion itself. Wake up each day amongst the greens of the vines and the scent of the wines — pure bliss.
6. Domaine Paul Cherrier, Verdigny
Another Loire Valley gem. If you’re looking for some of France’s best white wines, this is definitely the place to go. The Domaine Paul Cherrier is perfect for any Sauvignon Blanc fan, or just wine fan in general. The vineyard is run by Stephane Cherrier, son of Paul Cherrier. The younger Cherrier places an emphasis on natural products, without any chemicals used on the plants. Everything about this winery is picture-perfect, from its location in the hills high above the village to its exquisite white and red wines alike.
Thirsty for more? Start planning a visit to one of the Best Wine Destinations in the World.