Dordogne is one of the five departments of Aquitaine, now part of the super region Nouvelle Aquitaine (which includes Limousin and Poitou-Charentes). Aquitaine stretches along the Atlantic coast, from the Gironde estuary to the Basque country, along the Pyrenees Mountains on the Spanish border to the picture-postcard pretty towns and villages in Dordogne.
Visit the region that’s a wine and food lovers dream and start your journey by staying at the 18th century Chateau de Masburel in the heart of Dordogne. Idyllically set in the glorious countryside, surrounded by vineyards, it’s the perfect location to experience the French lifestyle. Close to the historic town of Bergerac, the historic castle is within easy travelling distance of the best of Dordogne and of Aquitaine. There are markets close by with fabulous local production and there’s wine tasting at the Chateau, of course. And not just any old wines. These are multi-award winning fabulous whites and reds.
Chateau Masburel, built from honey-coloured stone for one of Louis XV’s tax collectors who lived in nearby lovely Saint-Foy, has been making wine since before the French Revolution. Choose from the plush B&B or the gorgeous gite for your perfect Dordogne holiday home.
From the Chateau you have access to a wide range of superb activities and some of the officially ‘Most beautiful villages of France’, plus an abundance of prehistoric sites.
Here are just a few of our favourite places for food and wine lovers that are within easy distance of the chateau.
Bergerac and surroundings
Nearby Bergerac, a historic town of half-timbered houses is home to many restaurants serving traditional dishes. The Maison des Vins in the town is located in the former 17th century cloisters and showcases the regions wines, and includes a super tasting session. Go on a Wednesday or Saturday morning for the lovely market in the shadow of the Gothic bell tower of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. You’ll discover the best of the local produce – from duck foie gras, goose confit, cabécou, soft goat’s cheese, truffles, strawberries, Périgord walnuts, chestnuts, caviar and of course the local wines.
And at the pretty as a picture Renaissance chateau de Monbazillac not far from Bergerac, you can enjoy a wine tasting – including the fabulous mellow white wine of the same name. You should drink it very cold as an aperitif, with paté, or with dessert – it’s especially good with strawberries.
Meanwhile The Naked Vigneron in Margeuron involves no nudism but offers vineyard tastings and food experiences! From posh picnics by a pond to fabulous four course dinners, plus a private tour of the winery.
Capital of the Périgord Noir, the town of Sarlat is the jewel in the crown of the Dordogne and numerous fetes are dedicated to the local gems of French gastronomy. Go on a Wednesday or Saturday morning for the superb, sprawling market in the medieval centre. On other days head to the covered market in a former church – you can’t miss it, the doors are monumental. Wander the cobblestoned streets, explore the winding alleys and ogle at the ancient buildings from Medieval to Renaissance.
Just outside the city of Cadillac, around an hour and a half from Bergerac, the local Maison des Vins is in an old Charterhouse with a rich historical past. The museum, which received a gold award for its art and culture, is at the heart of the wine tourism region and includes a shop and tasting section.
Aquitaine’s regional capital Bordeaux, a former commercial harbour, is a must-see. Home to large avenues, beautiful gardens and revamped quays, plus splendid 18th century buildings that have earned the city UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the Cité du Vin museum, a fascinating journey into the world of wine, plus a fabulous tasting bar on the 7th floor with views over the city.
Bordeaux is also considered as the gateway to the famous vineyards where winegrowers are happy to welcome you for a visit and a wine tasting. Pomerol, Saint Emilion, Pessac Leognan, Entre deux Mers, Medoc, Cote de Blaye – fabulous wines and hundreds of Chateaux! Some belong to international brands, some are small and private, and they are spread across a radius of about 60 miles around Bordeaux, from Bergerac to the Gironde Estuary.
Book your stay at the Chateau de Masburel and enjoy a feast of experiences in Aquitaine: chateau-masburel.com