Questions about visiting Haut Brion

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David B
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Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#1 Post by David B » January 21st, 2019, 7:58 am

We will be in Bordeaux this summer and I made an online reservation at Haut Brion. This will be our first time in Bordeaux and I had a few questions about the etiquette of visiting the more higher end places:

1. Is there an expectation that we purchase bottles?
2. Are there tasting fees?
3. Dress code? Assuming it is relatively formal

We are also planning on visiting some smaller wineries in Bordeaux, as well as some places in Burgundy, Rhone, and Bandol later in our trip. I've found some great suggestions on places to visit searching this forum, but any other suggestions in those areas would be great. Thanks!
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Russell Faulkner
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#2 Post by Russell Faulkner » January 21st, 2019, 8:00 am

1. Nope. Indeed you won’t be offered any
2. Nope
3. No need to dress up, ‘smart casual’.

Enjoy!

David B
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Joined: September 16th, 2014, 1:08 pm

Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#3 Post by David B » January 21st, 2019, 8:28 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:00 am
1. Nope. Indeed you won’t be offered any
2. Nope
3. No need to dress up, ‘smart casual’.

Enjoy!
Perfect! Exactly what I was hoping to hear
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David B
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#4 Post by David B » January 21st, 2019, 9:30 am

Maybe a silly question, but does a visit include a tasting?
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Russell Faulkner
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#5 Post by Russell Faulkner » January 21st, 2019, 9:46 am

Yes, but don’t have great expectations. Probably 2-4 wines and maybe only one of the ‘Grand Vin’.

David B
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#6 Post by David B » January 21st, 2019, 9:19 pm

2-4 wines sounds good. Thanks for all of the info Russell! [cheers.gif]
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Russell Faulkner
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#7 Post by Russell Faulkner » January 21st, 2019, 9:25 pm

We visited Chateau Olivier a few years back. Not far from Haut-Brion, nice property and visit.

I think the wines have changed direction a bit since then though.

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Howard Cooper
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#8 Post by Howard Cooper » January 26th, 2019, 1:46 pm

David B wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:58 am
We will be in Bordeaux this summer and I made an online reservation at Haut Brion. This will be our first time in Bordeaux and I had a few questions about the etiquette of visiting the more higher end places:

1. Is there an expectation that we purchase bottles?
2. Are there tasting fees?
3. Dress code? Assuming it is relatively formal

We are also planning on visiting some smaller wineries in Bordeaux, as well as some places in Burgundy, Rhone, and Bandol later in our trip. I've found some great suggestions on places to visit searching this forum, but any other suggestions in those areas would be great. Thanks!
Some wineries in Bordeaux charge a fee to visit, others do not. I do not remember about Haut Brion.

Visiting wineries is Burgundy is much different from visiting large Bordeaux estates. Hard to get into visit many small Burgundy estates with an excellent or better reputation unless you have a way in - recommendation by retailer, long history of purchasing, etc. but, if you get in you visit with the owner or winemaker and visit is unbelievably great. Small growers do not charge for tasting. Can pay to taste at Bouchard, Drouhin and I think now Jadot.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

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Ramon C
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#9 Post by Ramon C » January 27th, 2019, 7:33 am

Make sure you're prepared to stay at least 1.5 to 2 hours at HB. Also, as I can recall from 7 years ago, although it is related and adjacent to LMHB, there will be no LMHB that will be tasted.
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Jeff Bloom
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Re: Questions about visiting Haut Brion

#10 Post by Jeff Bloom » January 28th, 2019, 12:48 pm

You'll find a lot of information here about Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone, so I won't add anything on those at this point. There isn't much about Bandol, however, so this might help.

You may be aware that the wineries are not in Bandol itself, which is a beach town. Most are gathered around Le Castellet and Cadiere d'Azur, north of Bandol. There are a lot of walk in tasting rooms, some with fees and some without. While it's not necessarily expected, particularly if you're paying a tasting fee, we always bought a bottle (which usually resulted in the fee being waived). The problem was often limiting what we bought because we wanted to check only one case on the plane and we liked a lot of the wines (we've been there twice).

Several are worth a scheduled visit/tour. We had very nice visits at Tempier, Chateau Pibarnon (a beautiful setting but a little tough to find), Gros Nore and Terrebrune. Terrebrune is not near the others, east of Bandol requiring a drive through generally residential areas. It's worth the drive, though - very good wines and nice people (sadly the restaurant has closed).

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