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Enotherapy and gastronomy
in Bordeaux

In August 2019 we visited Bordeaux and its surroundings with one of our clients. In our program: some of the best wines in the world, Michelin restaurants, the ocean and the hotel Les Sources de Caudalie 5*.

The hotel Les Sources de Caudalie is situated among the vineyards of the Château Smith Haut-Lafitte in 20 minutes' drive from Bordeaux. The owners of the hotel, spouses Daniel and Florence Cathiard, members of the French Olympic ski sports team in 1968, had left the big sport at one time to make a long-cherished dream come true – to live far from the noisy capital, grow wine and meet with friends on week-ends with a glass of homemade wine.
In total the hotel has 40 rooms of the Comfort and Prestige category and 3 Junior Suites decorated in various styles.
On the territory of the hotel there is a complex of 12 pile houses called the "Fisherman Village". As planned by the owners, the houses, located along the shore line of a small lake, recreate the special charm of an Arcachon oyster farm.
Les Sources De Caudalie boasts two restaurants and two bars in which the unique serving of gourmet cuisine is supervised be the Michelin Chef Nicolas Masse.
The first restaurant, La Table du Lavoir, is positioned as a bistro, although it is very conditional term – the dinner here can last for hours.
The second restaurant, La Grand'Vigne, is a place for true gourmets. The refined cuisine (restaurant has two Michelin stars) attracts not only hotel guests but the pampered Parisian clientele.
Located in the very heart of the hotel is an exquisite spa-center Spa Vinothérapie Caudalie, where only Caudalie beauty care products are used. Its creator was the younger daughter of Daniel and Florence Cathiard, Mathilde. She was the first to come up with the idea not to throw out grape seeds and vine cuttings but use them as a cosmetic ingredient. Today, the Caudalie is one of the key brands on the global cosmetics market and many of its products have long gained the high status.
Being near Château Smith Haut-Lafitte, we cannot miss a chance to go to a wine tasting. The vineyard traces its history to 1365, when Scotsman George Smith acquired land in the Graves region, built an estate and named it after himself. Later, vineyards were planted here, and in 1842 Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, inherited the property – it was during his life at Château Smith Haut-Lafitte that wines awarded the title of Grand Cru were created.
In addition to excurses and daily wine tastings in the cellars, everyone can participate in traditional grape harvesting – to do so, you need to come to Les Sources de Caudalie in October.
Our first dinner outside the hotel is at the restaurant Le Manège, in the heart of vineyards Pessac-Léognan in 15 minutes' drive from Les Sources de Caudalie.
One day we go on a tour in the historic center of Bordeaux, which the French romantically called the Port of the Moon – all because of a crescent-shaped harbour on the left bank of the Garonne, from where the merchant ships departed for England. This is such an important symbol of the city that the crescent can be seen on the coat of arms of Bordeaux.
An absolute must for us is a visit to the wine museum Cité du Vin ("City of Wine"), where the whole process of wine production is turned into a real adventure. This museum complex, opened in 2016, is called the wine Louvre and Guggenheim for wine lovers and its building resembles a decanter – during its creation architects were inspired by the movement of wine in a glass.
After an interactive tour and wine tasting we go to dinner at the restaurant Le 7 with panoramic view of Bordeaux and the Garonne.
Bordeaux region is so rich in the variety of Grand Cru wine châteaus that we have spent a few weeks choosing which one to visit. Eventually our choice fell on Château Rauzan-Ségla, Château de Ferrand and Château La Dominique.

Château Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux belongs to the House of Chanel since 1994. Critics describe local wines as "luxurious and sexy".
Château de Ferrand is one of the oldest estates in Saint-Émilion which for the past 300 years were owned by only two families.
The modern building of Château la Dominique was designed by the prominent architect Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize winner and author of such projects as Torre Agbar in Barcelona and reconstruction of Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.
Following the wine tasting at Château la Dominique, we dine at the local restaurant La Terrasse Rouge with spectacular views of the vineyards.
On the final day we go for the sun, waves and seafood to the cape Cap Ferrat in the Arcachon Bay, which is considered the oyster capital of France. It is the favourite place of Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet – and it is here that the film "Little White Lies" ("Les petits mouchoirs") was shot.
Arriving at the port of Arcachon, we go for a boat trip along the Arcachon Bay with stops for swimming.
Crossing the bay, the group sets for lunch on one of the numerous oyster farms to taste seafood and wine.
The Dune of Pilat, Europe's tallest sand dune, is just a few kilometers away from Arcachon. The perfect place to contemplate a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean – and this marks the end of our program.