At the highest point of the Saint-Émilion wine region and just a 45-minute drive from Bordeaux Airport sits the renowned Château Troplong Mondot. Upon arrival expect to be transported to another world, one of luxury and relaxation, where there’s a passion for grape growing and cultivation.
Accommodation at this world-class vineyard includes a newly restored outbuilding, The Keys of Troplong Mondot, where guests have their pick of the Art Studio, the Bell Tower Bedroom and Edouard room. These individually styled suites are all beautifully presented with a warm and cosy feel. Downstairs is a communal living area with a fireplace and library – an ideal place to get together and share your experiences or perhaps have some downtime and read a book. In summer, ensure you check out the terrace, which is a great spot to sit back and enjoy a glass of the vineyard’s best. If you are looking for a more intimate experience when staying at the estate, then The Vineyard House will not disappoint. Set romantically among the vines, this wonderful two-bedroom cottage has its own private terrace and is just a 20-minute walk from the charming medieval village of Saint-Émilion.
If you want something more extravagant, you can book the entire 18th-century château. Every aspect of the decor has been thoughtfully designed, creating a perfect blend of French country style and modern elegance. This includes some original features that compliment the chic furniture and works of art.
A delicious breakfast spread is served every morning at The Keys, comprising the chef’s seasonal jams, homemade granola, creamy yoghurts and artisanal pastries. Those staying at the château have the recommended option of a chef preparing delicious meals every day in the grand dining hall, or alfresco overlooking the vineyard. This experience enables you to fully relax and enjoy your holiday without having to worry about what to cook next for your friends or family.
While at the estate you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the traditional harvest experience. There are various different tours where you can learn more about the vineyard’s unique terroir, the process of the winemaking and, of course, wine tasting. One of the best is the ‘Dive Into Harvest’ tour, which involves taking a private tour of the vineyard in a 1970s Land Rover. Here you’ll spend time with the harvesting team (as well as the Percheron horses that plough the land) and taste grapes from different plots and fermenting wines. The tour ends with a lunch paired with old vintages in the company of the team.
Alongside the vineyard tours, electric bikes are freely available so you can explore the 30 hectares of land at your own leisure, while a heated outdoor pool is open year-round. History trips to Saint-Émilion can also be arranged, including a private tour of its monolithic church – the largest of its kind in Europe.
Aside from being a Premier Grand Cru Classé estate, one of the things that makes Château Troplong Mondot so impressive is its commitment to sustainable initiatives. It has been insecticide- and herbicide-free since 2000, while the vineyard has been ploughed entirely by its resident horses for the first time this year. This method is more precise and reduces soil compaction compared with tractors, which improves soil quality. The estate, a proud member of International Wineries for Climate Action, demonstrates annually how it is reducing its carbon footprint with the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.
In keeping with the vineyard’s sustainability ethos is Les Belles Perdrix, its Michelin-starred restaurant. Head chef David Charrier places an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and the importance of the origins of produce – so much so that he helped to create a vegetable garden on the property, where he works alongside the gardener in choosing what to grow, and the results comprise up to 70 per cent of the menu.
‘For many years, we have been committed to ensuring our ecosystem is sustainable,’ says Charrier. ‘We follow permaculture principles in our vegetable gardens and orchard, energy and water management is a constant consideration, our suppliers prioritise reusable containers, and our hen house and pig pen enable us to sustainably dispose of bio-waste.’
The restaurant team combine produce from the garden with the best locally sourced meats, creating a contemporary cuisine that is presented exquisitely in an abstract fashion. There is also an excellent wine list where bottles can be paired perfectly with the dishes. It is important to add that this gastronomic experience is accompanied by seamless service and an unforgettable panoramic vineyard view.
Château Troplong Mondot, 33330 Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, France; troplong-mondot.com/en