Saint Emilion is the most sought after wine Appellation for visitors coming to Bordeaux. The Merlot-centric blended wines (with cabernet franc/bouchet and cabernet sauvignon) are elegant and well known overseas for their high quality. The village itself is also charming, with plenty of high end and great value restaurants, small boutique shops and of course plenty of wine shops (caviste). There are also four ‘satellite‘ appellations – Puisseguin Saint Emilion, Lussac Saint Emilion, Montagne Saint Emilion, Saint Georges Saint Emilion – which were created in 1921. While considered separate from Saint Emilion today, things could change in the future.*
The classification system in Saint Emilion changes every ten years (or there abouts) when chateaux can present their wines for judging. Much like a Michelin star, the wines are judged on more than taste alone. The classification goes as such – Premiere Grand Cru Classe A – Premiere Grand Cru Classe B – Premiere Grand Cru Classe – Grand Cru Classe – Grand Cru. Do not hold your hopes up for a visit to any Premiere Grand Cru Classe A, unless you are a buyer or working in wine. If you want to meet the owner and have an intimate visit, try one of the smaller locations where the wine maker and owner lead tours.
About Saint Emilion Tourism
There are multiple tours through the tourism office, of the village and history as well as wine tours, but you can also contact chateaux (vineyards) to get tours on your own. Please be sure to contact in advance and arrive on time. If you are interested in buying, be sure to ask if the chateaux have wines in house to sell as some work through the negociants in Bordeaux and will not have wine on site.
There are around 800 producers alone in Saint Emilion. The task of finding which producers to visit is daunting, so think about what is important to you first. Do you have a price point? Are you only interested in organic/biodynamic wines? After a request from a client, I’ve compiled a list of some female wine makers and owners in Saint Emilion and the surrounding area, happy touring and tasting!
Female Winemakers and Voices in and around Saint Emilion
Chateau Beau Sejour Becot is a Premiere Grand Cru Classe B producer just walking distance from the village of Saint Emilion. Juliette Béco has been working in the chateau since she was a child when her grandparents were running it / 1 Gomerie, 33330 Saint Emilion / 05 57 74 46 87 / Château Beau-Séjour Bécot – Premier Grand Cru Classé à Saint-Emilion – Site en construction (beausejour-becot.com)
Château Mauvinon is a third generation family producer with a Grand Cru and multiple other wines on offer from not only their Saint Emilion estate but vines they own in Entre-Deux-Mers. Their Sauvignon blanc white is aged in oak and is one of the lighter, smoother and more elegant whites I’ve tried in Bordeaux. Charming owner Brigitte Tribaudeau is enjoying experimenting with new wine styles, like natural wines and orange wines, which is another reason to keep this location on your radar. Their Grand Cru was also a classical, elegant merlot red you hope to find here. Considering Brigitte works with œnologist Thomas Duclos (who also works with Chateau Figeac and Canon) it’s no wonder. / 217, Mauvinon,33330 Saint-Sulpice de Faleyrens / 05 57 24 64 79 / https://www.chateaumauvinon.com/nous-contacter/
Chateau Croix de Labrie Grand Cru, biodynamic, of 5.78 hectars with Axelle Coudurié 8 Bis Peymouton Sud, 33330 Saint-Émilion / 05 57 50 14 59 / Croix de Labrie | Saint Emilion Grand Cru (chateau-croix-de-labrie.fr)
Chateau la Fleur Plaisance owned by Severine Eresue who is part of the Alienor du Vin in Bordeaux, owns this 7th generational property of 12 hectares with her husband. / 0688067643 / Château la Fleur Plaisance – Montagne-Saint-Émilion (montagnesaintemilion.com)
Chateau Saint Ferdinand with winemaker Naomie Tanneau leading intimate wine tours and workshops since 2020 / 5 LDT Govinière, 33570 Lussac / 06 50 75 90 76 / Château St-Ferdinand Lussac St-Emilion – Visite et vente de vin direct producteur (chateau-st-ferdinand.com)
Chateau Ambe Tour Pourret Grand Cru of 5 hecares, organic since 2015. Owned by Françoise Lannoye, who has also been the president of l’Union des Côtes de Bordeaux. She works with oenologist François Despagne D243, Secteur Pourret, 33330 Saint-Emilion / 05 57 55 23 28 / Château Ambe Tour Pourret – Celene (celene-bordeaux.fr)
La Grande Clotte in Lussac has 8 hecters of vines 10 minutes outside of Bordeaux. Owner Julie Mercier (with her husband Mathieu) studied in the agriculture school in Bordeaux and are oenologists. After travels to Chilli and the USA to study winemaking, they settled into their own vines in 2016. Highlights are their efforts towards sustainability, their 80 year old Malbec vines, and their beautiful finished rentals on site. They are now raising their children to hopefully continue the family vineyard. La Clotte, 33570 Lussac / +33 (0)6 49 77 23 97 / Accueil – La grande Clotte
George 7 a bit further a field in Saillans is owned by Sally Evans and while she credits others with the winemaking process, she has a huge hand in the success of her wines. Producing both dry whites and reds, Sally can be found pruning the vines, working the chai, and hosting leaders in the wine world to share her vision. Probably the most important is her dedication to sustainability. Lighter bottles, nontoxic inks on labels, repurposed corks…the list goes on / 1 Lieu Dit le Bergey, 33141 Saillans / 06 81 52 24 80 / Chateau George 7 | Fronsac | Boutique Winery in Bordeaux | Saillans
To Learn More
*I will be adding to this post throughout the year
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