Major news on the Bordeaux wine tourism scene: Château d’Yquem is finally opening its doors to wine enthusiasts.
Until now, tours of Château d’Yquem were the preserve of a very small circle of people such as wine professionals, journalists, and very special customers. Now, interested parties will be able to go behind the scenes of the only Sauternes premier cru supérieur. We don’t use the word “only” lightly: the classification of Sauternes and Barsac dessert wines, produced in 1855 at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, listed 27 domaines. Château d’Yquem was the only entry in the highest category – “Premier Cru Classé Supérieur”.
From 29 February, Yquem will reveal its secrets to those who cherish the dream of crossing its threshold. On the agenda: a walk through the vines to the château via the formal garden designed by the Belgian landscape artist Jacques Wirtz. Visitors will then make their way down the steps to the underground cellar, surrounded by light fittings reminiscent of botrytised grapes. As a final flourish, the tour is rounded off with a glass of Yquem followed by a glass of Y, the estate’s dry white wine.
An Yquem tour is therefore the equivalent of travelling through 400 years of history and delving into a legend which has been a source of inspiration to many, including the writer Frédéric Dard: “I don’t call Yquem a wine, because there are many “wines” and Yquem is unique. I prefer the term nectar (the drink of the gods), and if I were to find a nobler word, I would be less ashamed of our limited vocabulary, which is singularly ill-equipped with superlatives.”
Tours are limited to 12 people and must be pre-booked. They last 90 minutes, including tasting, and a fee of 60 euros per person is charged (no tasting for minors). Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 2pm – 4pm. Saturday and Sunday: 10.30am – 2pm – 4pm. Bookings at: http://yquem.fr
If you can’t make the time to travel to the Sauternes region, we highly recommend a tasting trip to iDealwine. Our auction sales feature many Yquem vintages, young and old alike – an invaluable way of making the acquaintance of the king of Sauternes.