Often considered to be the very birthplace of Bordeaux wine (with some vines being over 2,000 years old), Graves also happens to be the largest wine-growing area in all of France–120,000 hectares of vineyards to be exact. A top destination for wine aficionados!
It doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the most popular things to do in Graves would, understandably, be the wine route. Visitors from around the world flock to the area to taste new wines, discover the esteemed Grands Crus and talk all things epicurean with lively, passionate wine-growers. The wine route is not only an excellent opportunity to find out more about the longstanding craft of wine-making, but also to get a better grasp of the tremendous amount of work and expertise that is required to produce a good vintage, and of course to visit lavish French estates.
Some of the most popular wineries to visit are prestigious Château Suduiraut, Château Carbonnieux, Château Smith Haut Lafitte and ancient Château la Mission Haut-Brion. Not to forget Château d'Yquem, notorious for its production of Sauternes, an intensely sweet dessert white wine.
Graves is a region, and therefore encompasses several villages. It is located just south of Bordeaux, with most wineries being between just 15 to 45 minutes away. Most wineries are located within a few minutes west of route E62, which can be accessed from the left bank of the Garonne River in Bordeaux. Entry fees depend on the winery; some will only ask for payment upon tasting, others will charge for visiting the installations. Payment varies between €2 per tasting to €20 euros per person for a complete visit of the site and a tasting session with an expert.