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Sauternes

Am going to be kicking around Sauternes in a few weeks. Can anyone recommend a Chateau to visit?

We’ll have 3 kids under 9 in toe and so the overall “experience” of any tour/setting is probably more important than the specifics of the wine.

If anyone has any tips or recommendations for visiting the sub-region that would be great.

Thanks in advance!

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My favourite was Rayne Vigneau, but that’s definitely less one for the under-10s. They do have lots of bits of art and stuffed birds dotted about the place, but it was generally the wine making knowledge of the guide that made it for me. Sauternes is a bit less geared up for tourists than the other bits of the region I’ve been to so I’m not sure any of them will be particularly child friendly. Guiraud had more outside space (and a restaurant and things) which could work?

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There are a couple of shops in the main square that do tastings as well I think if you wanted to avoid a proper tour for the kids’ sake

I think you can walk around the grounds of Y’Quem without booking a tour, at least in 2016 it was possible as I remember wondering aimlessly trying to find our tour guide before our tour started.

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The last time I visited Sauternes and Barsac was around ten years ago and it wasn’t a very pleasant experience sadly. On the whole it looked closed! Admittedly, I hadn’t arranged a visit anywhere due to it being an unplanned excursion, but all the same it showed little outward signs of wanting to attract anyone inside to sell its wares.
I sincerely hope things have changed in the interim as I am a big fan of S&B sweeties! They could learn a thing or two from the shops in St Emilion which positively bulge with the stuff.

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Cadillac (the other side of the river) is OK and most definitely not on the tourist map. Nice little town with charming markets, good bistro type restaurants with well priced local menus, big castle which was also an asylum / prison (doesn’t every French town have one of those?).

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Seems crazy. I’d have thought the Sauternes chateaux would be quite keen to add a few direct sales into the mix. Aren’t they becoming less and less popular as time goes by?

I enjoyed visiting the gardens at Chateau de Malle, maybe 8 years ago now. Weirdly more setup for gardens than wine!

This is an historic monument of France and, therefore, visitable as of right subject to a small entrance fee. It ajoins the main N-S TGV railway which may draw the children’s attention.

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