This 18th Century French Estate Is A Gorgeous Getaway For Wine Lovers
Working Percheron horses, a lair-like wine cellar, and a Michelin-starred restaurant are just a few reasons why this Saint-Émilion property is a wine lover’s paradise.
Celebrated for its world-renowned red wine, architectural heritage, gastronomy, and French charm, Bordeaux has long been known as a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts. It’s characterized by a conglomerate of prestigious wine appellations on either side of the Garonne River that cuts right through the region, and while they’re all quite close geographically, experts will tell you each cluster of wine terroir has their own distinct personality.
For discerning travelers and wine enthusiasts, the region that’s rousing the most intrigue is Saint-Émilion: a UNESCO-protected medieval village with fairytale views and recognized as the oldest active wine appellation in all of Bordeaux, with a rich history dating back to the Ancient Romans.
And while the charming old town comes complete with historic landmarks like the colossal, subterranean 12th century Monolithic church (the largest in the world) and a list of elegant eateries, the crown jewel is Château Troplong Mondot, perched at the highest point of this fabled village.
Château Troplong Mondot is an impressive Premier Grand Cru Classé wine estate– the first in the area—that blends ancient practices with modern technique across its 90-acre vineyard. It’s both a wine destination to simply visit if you’re touring the area, and a countryside retreat with a compound of unique and intimate accommodations for those who want to stay a while.
The most exclusive stay is its 18th century Neoclassical château, the property’s opulent centerpiece that fits up to ten guests to take over as their own. It has all the luxurious amenities of a boutique hotel with the intimacy of a private home, recently refurbished by the famed Parisian interior designer Bruno Boinard, whose impressive resume includes work for the Dorchester Collection and Cartier. Inside, you’ll find five individually designed suites with custom-made furniture, art deco antiques, and elegant living rooms for socializing—or dozing—after sipping on wine all day.
Just off the back porch of the château is a private pool ensconced by Cyprus trees, local flora, and clusters of lounge seating for daily repose under the sun. When hunger strikes, the property’s skillful culinary team will prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks at your leisure.
In rustic contrast to the château is the Vineyard House—a former winemaker’s cottage with two winged suites that sleep four, tucked among the rambling rows of vines and gardens. Alternatively, travelers can also book one of the three spacious guest retreats at The Keys.
At the helm of Château Troplong Mondot is CEO Aymeric de Gironde, a pioneer in the French luxury wine market and one of the most respected winemakers in the Bordeaux region. De Gironde is passionate about the product and locale he has to offer, and is focused on cultivating a new era of wine hospitality among a storied region.
“At Troplong Mondot, there is a special feeling; a true sense of place,” he tells Maxim. “For me, it means sort of an inner peace. I feel in line with myself, and I am comforted with the long-term decisions we make on a daily basis knowing we are doing it for the future generations. It is probably enhanced by the fact that there is nothing limiting the view.”
When de Gironde is not checking up around the property via electric bike, you could likely find him under the 100-year-old arbousier, or suggesting a late afternoon aperitif on the pool terrace.
To really bring its dynamism to life, Troplong Mondot offers a number of immersive experiences to see the vineyard in action. A Land Rover will pick you up at your door before touring different viewpoints and facilities across the sprawling estate for what feels like a glamorous wine safari.
As you cruise around, you’ll notice majestic Percheron horses that still plough the land, which gives a glimpse of the property’s sustainable farming approach. The horses and their machinery are so quiet, you just might just miss them if it wasn’t for the equine ears and manes bobbing above leafy rows of grapes.
In another corner of the property, you’ll find the estate’s farm run by happy pigs and flocks of chickens, and the adjoining vegetable garden which is where Chef David Charrier and his team pluck ingredients for their on-property Michelin-starred restaurant, Les Belles Perdrix.
It all feels like slow, country living until you discover the old limestone cellars hidden under the vineyards. An unmarked door leads you to an enormous modern temple to viticulture—a chrome cellar so deep it could be a Bond villain’s lair, with an industrial catwalk peering over wine barrels perfectly lined to precision.
It’s this room that transports you to the modern half of Château Troplong Mondot, a true testament to their refined engineering, rigorous microbiology, and the profoundly technical viticulture committed to sustainability.
The perfect cap to the day is a reservation at the fine dining outpost, Les Belles Perdrix. It’s settled high on the hilltop, backdropped by the vineyard’s sublime landscape with a string-lit patio and indoor-outdoor seating that stretches out of the bay window.
The restaurant has become such a destination on its own that it draws patrons from miles away, and is an epic bonus if you’re already staying on property. Cheese and dessert trolleys complement the impressive menu, and of course, a few glasses of decanted Grand Cru.
Your stay in Saint-Émilion is just a train ride away from Bordeaux. Book your stay at Château Troplong Mondot here.