Visits and Tastings
History, Tastings, Walks and more
THE MAISON DU VIN GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT CHÂTEAUX AND TASTE THEIR WINES
‘LA BOUCLE DES CHÂTEAUX’ TOUR
Enjoy a walk, bike ride or drive through the vineyards on this 15km loop trail.
THEMED VISITS ‘OUR STORIES’
Collect the leaflet at the Maison du Vin and enjoy one of these original tours through the vineyards whilst admiring the exterior architecture of the châteaux according to one of the following themes: River, Landscape & Architecture, Passion, Families, Village and Winemakers. These outdoor visits are open to all, unguided and do not require advance booking. Each themed trail reveals the history of the châteaux and winemaking village of Saint-Estèphe through a closer look at its architecture, anecdotes and legends. If you would like to take this opportunity to visit the cellars then please check the visiting conditions for each individual château.
Along the river
Discover the Saint-Estèphe appellation from the banks of the river
Landscape & Architecture
A closer look at the châteaux of Saint-Estèphe and their remarkable heritage
The historical anecdotes of Saint-Estèphe
An insight into the history of the village and the families of Saint-Estèphe.
This tour of the appellation’s main hamlets reveals the diversity of its landscapes and terroirs
The opportunity to get to know Saint-Estèphe winemakers
Vineyards huts and Towers in the vineyards
The vineyard huts
The vineyard huts that still stand in the Saint-Estèphe vineyards bear witness to the region’s past.
These huts can be spotted in the middle of the vines and were used as a shelter for vine workers wishing to take a break, have lunch or take refuge from bad weather.
They were also a convenient place to store their tools.
The development of mechanical tools, the use of tractors instead of horsepower and improved access between the house and the vines resulted in less need for these buildings and gradually saw them disappear.
The architecture of the huts is very varied.
The smallest are composed of just a single room.
The more sophisticated count two rooms on the ground floor and another floor above.
Inside there is usually a chimney which enabled the vine workers to warm themselves up during their break.
Some of them offer more comfort with facilities such as bottle holes, a small cupboard and shelves.
Some of these huts were built several centuries ago.
Although the majority of them have disappeared or are in ruins, some have been restored by their owners.
Located either at the entrance to the property or situated right in the middle of the vineyards, these towers can be said to have just as much an aesthetic purpose as a practical one.
Some of the oldest ones were dovecotes but the more recent 19th century towers were used as shelters and served a similar purpose to the huts.
They may also have been used as a watch tower to look over the vineyards.
THE CALVARIES AND CROSSES OF SAINT-ESTEPHE
THERE ARE A TOTAL OF NINE CROSSES IN THE VILLAGE OF SAINT-ESTEPHE.
MOST OF THESE CROSSES WERE ERECTED IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 19th CENTURY AND NOW REPRESENT AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE VILLAGE’S HISTORY AND HOLD AN IMPORTANT PLACE IN ITS CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE.
The Canteloup calvary
Situated at the entrance to the village of Saint-Estèphe, opposite the town hall, this calvary is composed of a beautiful wrought iron cross.
The Two Leyssac calvaries
Leyssac is the commune’s second largest village and was once even a rival to the village of Saint-Estèphe with its own schools, shops, chapel and village fete. The first cross is located near the Chapel of Leyssac. The village’s key role explains the presence of a second wrought iron cross which dates back to the first half of the 19th century.
The Marbuzet calvary
The Marbuzet cross is situated at the crossroads between the hamlets of Marbuzet and German which together make up one large village.
The Pez calvary
Pez is one of the appellation’s oldest hamlets.
The Port cross
The port area of Saint-Estèphe is steeped in history.
We know that the ‘Notre Dame Entre-Deux-Arcs’ church existed here before being destroyed in the 18th century.
It was an important place for prayer with boatmen and fishermen stopping off here for Mass.
A small private chapel still exists today at the port.
The port chapel gave its name to the famous ‘Foire à la Chapelle’ fair in Saint-Estèphe which is still held at the port once a year in early September.
The Aillan calvary
This calvary is situated in the hamlet of Aillan in the West of the commune. This hamlet boasts one of the region’s most beautiful fountains.
The Acacias cross
Formed of a cross and Christ, similar to that of the port.
The Bourg calvary in Saint-Estèphe
In the centre of Saint-Estephe, mounted against one of the walls of Château Phélan- Ségur and close to the pharmacy, this cross lies just fifty metres from the church in what would previously have been a highly emblematic location.
The Fountains of Saint-Estèphe
In an era long before households had running water, public fountains with wells and basins were the only source of drinking water.
They were usually situated in the centre of a village square and would also have served a social purpose as a meeting place for villagers. Each hamlet also had its own wash houses or wash basins which were sufficient in size for the number of inhabitants.
The Aillan fountain
The Aillan fountain is one of the most interesting of the commune’s 4 fountains. It was clearly used as a wash house and still has a source of running water.
The ‘Hôpital’ fountain
Situated in the West of the commune in the hamlet of ‘l’Hôpital de Mignot’. The origins of its name date back to the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem who built a chapel to welcome pilgrims and travelers.
The Marbuzet fountain
This is one of the village’s most beautiful fountains. It is large in size with two wash basins, attesting to the importance of the hamlet of Marbuzet. It is very interesting from an architectural point of view and has been partially renovated.
The Pez fountain
This ancient fountain is situated in the hamlet of the same name. The origins of the name ‘Pez’ are derived from ‘pès’, the word for a Roman foot.
The Saint-Corbian fountain and dovecote
This fountain is situated in the hamlet of Saint-Corbian in the North of Saint- Estèphe. This village was previously an island surrounded by the waters of the Reysson marshes and is still one of the parish’s largest hamlets.
The Saint-Estèphe church
With its luxurious interior decoration, the baroque church in Saint-Estèphe is one of the most beautiful examples of 18th century religious art in the Gironde region. It reflects the influence and prestige of the parish during the Age of Enlightenment.
Restaurants and accommodation
Restaurant Château Pomys
Restaurant La Raffinerie
Salon de thé L’atelier de K’Tea
Bar restaurant Le Peyrat
Hôtel Château Pomys
Chambres d’hôtes Château Ormes de Pez
Chambres d’hôtes Château Papounan
Location touristique In Medio Aquae
Gîtes Château Haut Coteau
Gite Château Pomys
Gite de Dina Zampetti
Gite du Port
– Situated in the Place de l’Eglise (church square), the PIGOUT butcher’s is a very popular address in the village.
Customers come from near and far to get their hands on one of their excellent ‘entrecôte’ rib steaks or the local speciality of Grenier Médocain!
– The village convenience store, the Vival, is situated in the Rue du Commerce and sells bread from a nearby bakery.
A walk along the estuary
‘CARRELETS’ ALONG THE ESTUARY
Saint-Estèphe boasts the highest concentration of fishing huts in this part of the estuary’s left bank. These fishing huts are an integral part of local heritage and are commonly referred to as ‘carrelets’, a word derived from the French name for the large square fishing nets stretched over a metal framework. Many Saint-Estèphe locals still come to fish and enjoy a day on the banks of the estuary.
You can park at the port before starting your walk along the estuary from Château Ségur de Cabanac. You will see around ten huts, some of which have been customised. As you travel along, you will notice the gravel outcrops and buildings of Château Meyney and Château Montrose overlooking the estuary. If you look closely then you will be able to make out the remains of the turtle dove hunting towers in the areas of woodland. These small wooden towers are now concealed by heath and broom but were formerly used to watch for the return of the turtle doves in the month of May.