Situated on the Garonne River, the port city of Bordeaux is the capital of the Aquitaine region in the Gironde department. Most famous for its production of wine, the 116,000 hectares of vineyards throughout the area have made it the world’s major wine industry capital.
More than 960 million bottles of both red and white wine are exported from the area every year.
Amongst these are some of the world’s most expensive – including the five premier cru (first growth) red varieties, established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
Away from the region’s rolling countryside and vast areas of grape growing, Bordeaux city centre boasts one of Europe’s largest 18th century architectural urban areas.
The period was considered a golden era for Bordeaux, with many significant figures – from royals and peers to artists and writers – expressing a love for the city. French poet and novelist Victor Hugo was an advocate of the area, as was Baron Haussmann – the man who was credited with the rebuilding of Paris – who is said to have used Bordeaux as a model to transform the capital into a modern centre.
Even before this age of prosperity, Bordeaux had been home to aristocracy, with English monarch King Richard II born at the Abbey of Saint Andrew in 1367. The cathedral – one of three in the city – was also the setting for the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Louis VII, and the location where Edward, the Black Prince bestowed the captainship of Aquitaine to his younger brother, John of Gaunt.
Perhaps the most notable former resident of Bordeaux is Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, considered by many to be the most influential writer of the French Renaissance. After studying at the prestigious College de Guyenne, he was appointed to the high court of the city and awarded the highest honour of the French nobility, the collar of the order of St. Michael.
Today, Bordeaux is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble”.
Many beautiful properties can be found in the city’s stunning historical setting, including this 18t century manor house set in 1.7 hectares of gardens and parkland.
The house boasts incredible views of the Entre-Deux-Mers countryside, as well as fabulous original features, secluded terraces, an ancient farmhouse and two large swimming pools. A separate three-bedroomed gite is also included in the €894,000 asking price.
This extraordinary property built for the mother of Henri IV has been beautifully restored amidst landscaped gardens and can be purchased for just under €2 million.
The classic, six-bedroomed 18th century chateau has a contemporary kitchen, reception room, swimming pool, tennis court and Jacuzzi offering views across the countryside.
A good potential investment property, this vineyard set on 85 hectares of land, is offered at just over €4 million. Producing AOC Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge and Bordeaux white, there are still nine hectares of land that remain unplanted.
The property comprises a 19th century manor house with five bedrooms, a fully fitted kitchen and a swimming pool, as well as two more houses and a new wine shed.