Having previously been restricted to professionals and expensive wine tour operators, the famous Chateau d’Yquem is to open to the public from March to September.

chateau d'Yquem bottle"Y" Chateau d'YquemA visit to 400-year-old Château d’Yquem entails discovering an estate that places a premium on art and craftsmanship to produce a rare wine. For 2016 there is a guided tour followed by a tasting
(one vintage of Château d’Yquem and one vintage of Y) in a group of no more than 12 people. The cost is €72 per person and the guided tour lasts 90 minutes, 3 times every day. Booking essential – see http://yquem.fr

Chateau d’Yquem is the ultimate expression of Sauternes – a Premier Cru Supérieur that enjoys a position which makes the grapes susceptible to attack by “noble rot” (Botrytis cinerea) – producing lush yet delicate dessert wines from the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. In addition the wine has considerable ageing potential (100+ years for some vintages), and this contributes to it being recognised as the most expensive wine in the world – in July 2011, an 1811 bottle of Château d’Yquem sold for £75,000!!

Nationwide wine merchant Majestic Wine has a 1990 vintage available at a mere £405 a bottle : “an enticing nose of toasted nuts, vanilla cream and soft orange marmalade “

Château d’Yquem lies in the Graves area about 30 miles south of Bordeaux – see http://yquem.fr

Stay nearby in the B&B at the wine chateau Chateau Trillon in Sauternes OR stay at La Sauternaise B&B in the former tasting office of the local wine syndicate