The Left Bank of Bordeaux is, for many good reasons, considered one of the temples of wine. It boasts of four of the five Premiers Grands Crus Classes (Châteaux Mouton Rothschild, Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Margaux). The fifth one, Haut Brion, is located in Pessac, southeast of Bordeaux. It’s also the home of dozens of classified wines, whether second, third, fourth or fifth growths. Everything there breathes wine: Châteaux dot the landscape, tourist buses make their daily runs and local restaurants proudly display their selections. Villages with names like Saint-Julien or Margaux evoke the fine art and marketing that the wine business has brought about.
The Médoc offers an incredible variety of landscapes and emotions. To start, when you leave Bordeaux, all you see are local neighborhoods and rows of warehouses. After driving through two dozen roundabouts, you start asking yourself: Did I come to the right place? Is this the area that so many people drool over? Be patient and you will be rewarded. Opt for the Gironde river road on your way to the Châteaux and then return to Bordeaux via the larger road in the afternoon, it will save you lots of time and headaches.