Must-visit wineries in France

20 May 2014

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There's no doubt that France is home to some of the world's most sumptuous wines - so why not plan a holiday in Europe to visit some of the nation's best vineyards and wineries?

This gives you the chance to sample globally-renowned wines, while also treating you to a whole variety of stunning French scenery.

Here are some of the country's best, must-visit wineries to include on your itinerary.

bordeaux

Chateau Mouton Rothschild

This stunning vineyard is located about an hour's drive north of Bordeaux at Pauillac. Its winemaking history began in 1853, when Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild purchased the chateau so he could serve his own wine to esteemed visitors.

The vast property is home to long stretches of vines growing in gravelly soil, providing powerful flavours and tannin-rich wines. But the vineyard is worth visiting for more than its impressive wines alone.

The chateau is also home to the Museum of Wine in Art, which houses historic 17th-century German gold and silverware, not to mention countless other treasures including tapestries, paintings, glassware and porcelain.

Exploring the gorgeous rooms of the elegant chateau is also high on the list of priorities for visitors, with beautiful architecture and artwork around every turn.

Château Prieuré-Lichine

Less than a 40 minute drive from Bordeaux, the beautiful Château Prieuré-Lichine is always a pleasure to visit.

The winery grounds have been around for centuries, first having been tended to by monks. However, during the 1700s its wine production really stepped up a notch and began to flourish.

Today, the vineyard's unique topography and geology, mixed with the establishment's respect for nature and passion for winemaking, produces world-renowned wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate production at the site, while a small amount of Petit Verdot is also created.

There are many tours of the grounds on offer, delving into different aspects of the chateau. See how the wine is produced, learn about the history of the estate, savour the local food and wine and explore the natural soil and surrounds - plus plenty more.

Don't forget to pick up a bottle or three of your favourite variety before you leave.

Chateau de la Tuilerie

Nestled amongst the Bimes hills is the Chateau de la Tuilerie. Not only does it produce fine - and interesting - wines, it's also located in an incredibly scenic area.

A visit to this winery will treat you to views of woodlands, orchards, mountain ranges and more.

Head along to taste the wines and learn about their history and production process. Demonstrations will elaborate on how to make the most of the taste, smell and experience of drinking wine. Not only will you have the chance to taste an abundance of wines, you can also sample rum, olive oil, apple juice and more on site.

Tasting the Syrah and Merlot, you'll notice sweet, spicey aromas, intense colours and unique bursts of flavour.

Domaine Henri Bourgeois

Found in the picturesque Loire Valley, this winery is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

That means you can taste some truly stunning drops, while you will also get the chance to explore the gorgeous features of the region such as lush green river fronts, grand castles, pristine gardens and mile upon mile of sun-drenched vines.

You deserve to indulge in some great food and wine on your holiday, and discovering different wineries across France provides a great opportunity to taste some of the best the country - and the world - has to offer.

Secure a place on a wine tour as there are many operators in the region, or pick out your favourites to visit for yourself for an appetising adventure you won't soon forget.