Bordeaux Wine Travel - Henri Challeau

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J.Vizuete
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Bordeaux Wine Travel - Henri Challeau

#1 Post by J.Vizuete » July 12th, 2019, 2:32 am

I just returned from a 10 day trip to France, four of which were spent in Bordeaux where we used a local tour guide who I found searching the archives here. Henri mentioned that many of his best customers come from WB so I wanted to share some feedback.

Logistically I had a group of 3 couples with a wide range of Bordeaux knowledge, but most were fairly novice tasters. We spent a day in the Medoc, one on the right bank and one in Pessac, with a long stop in entre-deux-mers.

Several points I’d like to share with the board:
1) Henri was a fantastic guide: He was always a few minutes early to pick us up. He was helpful, friendly, communicative, courteous and kind throughout. Even offered to give us a ride to the train station the following day.
2) Henri has access to basically any chateau you’d like to visit. Given the high season, there were two I wanted to see that were not possible (Haut Brion and VCC) but outside of that, he has longstanding relationships with staff at just about every classified growth. He helped me to choose a nice variety of chateaux from small to large production, family owned, etc. We even had a picnic at one Chateau that turned out to be our most memorable visit. All of those decisions were finalized over a month before our trip. I recommend to contact him at least 6 months before you plan to visit.
3) Additionally, his level of Chateau specific knowledge is impressive. He knows the history and families/ownership, etc but also often remembers the acreage, winemaking, blend %, and vintage characteristics of each producer. Basically an encyclopedic knowledge of the region. I felt him to be quite passionate and not at all robotic about this.
4) Without disclosing the cost (which may change with time) I can say a tour with M. Challeau was an incredible value. A similar experience in Burgundy cost more for a half day for 2 people than a full day for 6 with Henri. We felt like we were getting a great deal.

If you plan to visit Bordeaux, do not hesitate to reach out to Henri (contact@bordeaux-wine-travel.com). I am happy to answer any questions on this in the future. Will post some TNs/trip notes when we get back home.
Last edited by J.Vizuete on July 13th, 2019, 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Howard Cooper
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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#2 Post by Howard Cooper » July 12th, 2019, 4:09 am

Glad you had a great experience with Henri. We did as well several years ago when we were in Bordeaux, and several of our friends have also had wonderful experiences with him.
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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#3 Post by Paul R. » July 12th, 2019, 7:31 am

I agree with all of your comments. We toured with Henri last year for two days. I would HIGHLY recommend him.
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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#4 Post by Mark Cochard » July 12th, 2019, 10:49 am

Which Chateau did you have lunch?

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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#5 Post by J.Vizuete » July 12th, 2019, 11:22 am

Mark Cochard wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 10:49 am
Which Chateau did you have lunch?
Chateau Biac. It’s owned by the Asseily family who received us for a beautiful lunch on the terrace. They also have some guest houses that I plan to use in the future. Some of the most kind, interesting, and vivacious people I’ve encountered. Not a bad view, either :)
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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#6 Post by Mark Cochard » July 12th, 2019, 11:26 am

Thanks, Will be having lunch at Château La Croizille, which Henri has arranged for us.

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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#7 Post by J.Vizuete » July 12th, 2019, 11:32 am

Cool. I hope you enjoy it greatly. Throughout the planning phase, I felt that this tour was highly customized to my group’s desires, rather than a cookie cutter program he does for everyone. What other Châteaux will you visit?
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Re: Bordeaux Wine Tours - Henri Challeau

#8 Post by Mark Cochard » July 12th, 2019, 12:03 pm

Saint Emillion
Château Coutet
Château La Croizille will have a picnic lunch here
Château Canon La Gaffeliere
Pomerol
Château Gazin

We are staying in Saint Emillion then heading for the Dordogne.

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