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Wine-romantic getaway at Château Léognan…

Around wine, Walks, Gastronomy, secret Gironde

In Gironde, happy be the wine tourist: on Bordeaux Wine Routes, whatever his profile and his desires, he will necessarily find the shoe at his foot… of vines! Follow us at the Château de Léognan, the #TeamGironde has tested a gourmet and romantic getaway for you...

“The air, the grapes, the wines from the banks of the Garonne and the mood of the Gascons are excellent antidotes to melancholy” said Montesquieu. If the fever tram-work-sleep waiting for you, if you want to escape the winter routine for a weekend, if the " Blue Monday » took his ease a little at home to the point of settling in all week, so entrust your melancholy to the #TeamGironde, which never contradicts Montesquieu on his land! Our suggestion of the week? An immersion in “ we bubble, don't disturb us, even if the earth stops turning “, in love, on the Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes, one of our six Bordeaux Wine Routes!

(Cover photo: ©Claire Gilles – Lesbaladesdeclaire.fr )

Imagine the scene...

Find your other half after work on Friday evening, leave behind your worries and ongoing files and go straight to one of the charming guest rooms in our vineyard, with a single watchword: PRO-FI- TER! If you're from Bordeaux, you're in luck: our six Bordeaux Wine Routes offer you a multitude of getaways less than an hour door-to-door from the city center of Bordeaux. And if you are from Paris, don't forget that in 3h30 by train you are with us!

Château Léognan © Gironde Tourisme - A.Quimbre

Château Léognan © Gironde Tourism – A.Quimbre

Anxious to recommend only tested and approved ideas, I left as an ambassador for the Gironde Tourisme team at Chateau Leognan, which offers a particularly complete wine tourism offer to relax, just 25 minutes from central Bordeaux, in the pretty vineyard of Pessac-Léognan. I don't know about you, but for me, the essential criteria for a romantic getaway with my lover around wine are strict:

– the environment must be peaceful, with vineyards nearby
– the owners must make me feel at home
– the bedroom should be quiet and cozy
– I don't have to take the car if we want to have a candlelit dinner
– I need to be able to do a tasting
– the place must have a story, so that I will remember it forever

So, my night at Château Léognan, verdict?

The environment :

What I like about my adopted Bordeaux is that in a few minutes I can leave the city to go green. The Pessac Léognan vineyard, on the Bordeaux Wine Route in Graves and Sauternes, is the closest vineyard to the Gironde capital. Each Bordeaux Wine Route has its own universe and landscapes, and the atmosphere that reigns upon arriving at the Château de Léognan is soft and serene. Watching the vines pass by around me, in the car that takes us to the property, I think back to what I often tell the journalists I receive: the cradle of Bordeaux wines is here. The first vines were planted in the 1st century, there, between the left bank of the Garonne and the vast forest of the Landes de Gascogne. Men and the seasons pass, but the vine continued to entrust us with its nectar. A room with a view of more than 2000 years of history immediately makes you want to daydream, on the arm of your better half...

The property…and its owners!

Château Léognan © Gironde Tourisme - A.Quimbre

Château Léognan © Gironde Tourism – A.Quimbre

A little away from the village of Léognan, we have arrived at the Château. Already, 3 buildings make our eyes sparkle. One, modern, is a former riding school, recently renovated into a restaurant: what luck, we can dine there! The other, the castle, with blond stone on which the sun is beginning to set: fingers crossed that this is where we sleep!
A third building intrigues us: do you think it's a chapel? (No, I'm not being given the surprise wedding plan???)

No time to question ourselves further, here is the first welcoming committee: the two friendly boxers of the property. They announced our arrival to their masters who hastened to meet us: a very benevolent couple from the start. Chantal and Philippe Miecaze, the owners, live here: what a real bed and breakfast! Chantal has a smile from ear to ear when she sees us, and shows us directly to the rooms, introduces us to the breakfast room (so cute, it looks like a country house!), while Philippe tells us right away that he will have lots of stories to tell us about the castle during dinner.

Oh yes, because I haven't really told you everything: in order to answer all our questions (I'm still here for you, and yes, I work, I'm investigating!), they will have dinner with us, and that of sympathetic bloggers trained by the divine Charlotte of the " Charlotte Routes », who were also invited to try a wine tourism stay in this property.

Bedroom…

We visit with wide eyes the 7 rooms (including two superb suites) of the castle, and put our suitcases in the “Bérénice” room (fan of literature, I knew that this room was for me…). The lovers' room (with an alcove provided for the little ones if it breaks our hearts too much to leave them to grandpa and grandma for the weekend). Dressed in red and white, right down to the 2 bathrobes waiting for us warm in the bathroom next to the Jacuzzi, I immediately fell in love. It must be said that hearts overhang the bed, soft and comfortable, without turning to kitsch, and that the decoration is done with taste. I can't wait for us to slip back under this thick duvet!

" You are my ride… "

Who says romantic getaway says candlelit dinner. We don't want to take the car again to go to dinner, and that's the whole advantage of the castle: an excellent restaurant opened less than a year ago, "Le Manège", which offers quality at a very affordable price. 34 euro for the starter/main course/dessert menu, and a valuable advantage: the wine is sold at the cost price of the property. Le merry-go-round…what a curious name for a restaurant…

"This comes from the origin of the building, a former riding school for horses" answers Philippe, who begins a whole series of anecdotes about the castle. Hence the panoramic view on the terrace, all around the building. We will come back in summer to toast in the sun facing the view of the vineyards…

The restaurant menu was created by Flora Mikola and it is her second, Ivan Descourt, who officiates in the kitchen! And this young chef is talented. I was amazed at the quality of the meal for this price! Florentine-style soft-boiled eggs and sheep's cheese sauce, pan-fried scallops generously gratinated with garlic (it seems to be an aphrodisiac…), and one of my favorite desserts revisited with chestnuts and cherries: a cowherd. All accompanied by Château Léognan wine, which delighted my almost-connoisseur palate.

Wine*

6ha of vines, and a wine sold at 35% directly from the property. Chantal and Philippe would like to increase to 50%. Their projects focus on the development of their wine tourism offer, because for them, wine is above all an encounter: they do not want to produce more of it, but to sell a larger part of it directly on site, in order to tell future consumers all the stories in their bottles. Those of the land of Graves. I like this mentality, shared by many winegrowers on our wine routes. This job is a passion...
A passion you say? This is where the little stories begin...

Philipe and Chantal are not from the wine industry. They left everything to retrain, after a career in medical imaging, and live their dream to the full: owning a château and making their wine in Bordeaux. Like me, they are adopted Girondins, you never discover the Gironde without wanting to stay there! When Philipe tells us about his encounter with the château and the vineyard, the words he uses remind me of the encounter with my +1: yes, his story is just as much about love!
In 2007, they took over the old property for rent and fearlessly embarked on a long period of work. As soon as they get their first primeurs, they are immediately told of a great wine.
The most striking thing, when Philipe tells us about his choice for Léognan, is that we have the impression that it is the château that chose him...

leognan122013-07-26 15.53.43

The symbols

The label of Château Léognan wine bottles is very special: it illustrates two phoenixes. In view of the story that Chantal and Philippe told us, we imagine that they are the ones who created it. My old school memories remind me of the legend of this famous bird, which rises from its ashes. It looks like their conversion. We then learn, the next morning, while visiting the chapel adjoining the property, that this visual was already waiting for them on their arrival. They paved the ground in the heart of the religious building. They found the image particularly beautiful and took it as an emblem. One day, one of their visitors told them that this image was the religious symbol of the resurrection. Like the castle, and like this couple who one day decided to leave everything to live their dream. When I tell you that the castle was waiting for them...

Chapelle du Château Léognan - Amélie Nollet - Share Bordeaux

Chapel of Château Léognan – Amélie Nollet – Share Bordeaux

After a calm and divinely pleasant night in the room lovingly prepared by Chantal, we indeed visited this intriguing chapel, which makes the property even more special. Not a huge church, but a small building that adds to the romance of our getaway.
Philippe then tells us another story: one of his daughters told him one day that she was getting married, and that she wanted the ceremony to take place at the estate. Obviously, we do not get married in just any place in terms of religious marriage, and moreover it was necessary to do some work. Philippe and Chantal then summoned the village priest to get his opinion. Since time, and by becoming a private chapel, the place should no longer be consecrated, so how to do it?

2013-07-26 16.09.33
No need to wonder too long: under the intrigued gaze of future "matchmakers", he immediately went to a very special place in the small building, and lifted a sheet on the altar. Surprised by his discovery, he then announced to the parents that the marriage of their daughter could take place: the private chapel, unlike all those in the region, had been forgotten by the bishopric and the stone of consecration had thus never been withdrawn. The chapel is therefore still a place of worship! Incredible…
Since magic seems to reign over the estate, how about we play sorcerer's apprentice? A tasting workshop to unravel the mysteries of the sweet nectar produced here, this is the perfect way to continue our romantic getaway. Several types of visits are offered at the château, concluding with a commented tasting in order to perfect your oenological knowledge. When the good weather returns, we have already planned to test the visit by horse-drawn carriage, in the park and the vineyard of the castle!

 

The bill!

Relaxed, soothed after a night in a serene environment, with a full stomach after a quality dinner and breakfast, a head full of new knowledge and a heart filled with the little stories of the castle, it's time to ask Chantal and Philippe ideas for walks in the area to conclude our stay, and to spend on the bill. Which I wouldn't call "painful", because one of the huge strengths here is the price range. Out of season, count 95e (120e in season) for a double room, breakfast included, and 180e for the suite (190e in season). A swimming pool is accessible in summer, and it is possible to rent mountain bikes on site. If I add to this the excellent value for money of the table at the estate (just 25 minutes from Bordeaux, believe me I will be coming back often!), and the very attractive prices for occasional visits (5th: per visit/tasting , 15th/pers for the horse-drawn carriage ride), I can only validate this getaway as a hell of a good deal. This is where I realize that Chantal and Philippe are above all driven by a sincere desire to share their passion: with affordable prices, they allow as many people as possible to treat themselves to an exceptional moment.

Verdict?

The territory of Montesquieu and the "Gascon mood" of its inhabitants thus finished taking over my melancholy, and in this castle which speaks of love, I myself fell in love again: with my Gironde, because it is all the same a sacred privilege to be able to escape and get away from it all at the gates of the city, of my +1, because everything lends itself to refocusing on the little pleasures of life here, of my friends because among the bloggers were present some pretty feathers that I enjoy reading, and my job, because testing this for you was a real pleasure.

Other nuggets are hidden along our six Bordeaux Wine Routes: I'll take you there, I promise!

And you, when do you come to recharge your batteries at Château Léognan? Do you have other ideas and experiences of romantic getaways in Gironde? Tell me about it in the comments!
Practical information :
Chateau Leognan
Mr and Mrs MIECAZE
88, chemin du Barp – 33850 Léognan
Phone. +33 (0) 5 56 64 14 96
mod. +33 (0) 6 14 62 44 31
The guest rooms
The property
Château Léognan obtained the best Of d'Or Wine Tourism 2015 in the "accommodation" category.
For further :
Montesquieu Tourist Office
3 Place Marcel Vayssière – 33650 Martillac
05 56 78 47 72 - www.tourisme-montesquieu.com

*Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, consume in moderation.

Thanks to Chantal and Philippe Miecaze for their welcome, as well as to Lise and Charlotte who introduced bloggers to one of the nuggets of our Wine Routes!