Understanding the various aspects of the winemaker’s work through action:  experience the day-to-day life of the chef de culture vineyard manager or the maître de chai cellar master of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a ”grand cru” vineyard near Bordeaux.

A wine tasting and tour enthusiast, you are looking for something different. Put yourself into the shoes of a winemaker at Château Smith Haut Lafitte. Depending on the season, the tour “in the winemaker’s path” allows you to participate in the outdoor vineyard work or the indoor activities at the cellar.

The almost alchemistic experience of composing a great wine by blending several varietal wines from the same vineyard.

Guided by the chef de culture vineyard manager, you will discover, clippers in hand, les petites façons, the techniques of vine pruning, removing unwanted new shoots, trellising or thinning leaves, inherited from the ancestors. Technical explanations will allow you to fully understand all the steps of the life cycle of the vine, its intimate link with the terroir on which it blossoms and the phases of its growth until the harvest, where you will be able to taste, pick and sort the grapes for the production of our renowned vintage wines known as grand cru in the French wine classification system.

A complete experience from grape growing to wine making, wine blending to tasting

If you prefer cellar rather than vineyard activities, you will experience the pigeage or the punching down of the cap, of grape skins and pulp, during fermentation, the bâtonnage or stirring the lees during ageing or even the magic of an atelier d’assemblage blending workshop: the almost alchemistic experience that consists of composing a great wine by blending several varietal wines from the same vineyard. Thanks to samples taken directly from the barrels and after visiting the cellars, you will carry on in-depth tastings in order to understand the emblematic varietals of Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard. Then, as an oenologist apprentice, you will implement your own blends to create, under the advice of the maître de chai cellar master, a personal blend according to your tastes and convictions.

After discovering the job through practice, you will have earned the pleasure to pursue your winemaking experience with a tasting of the white and red wines of the property at the Orangerie of the Château.  This is a convivial moment to exchange impressions and experiences and bring to a close the two hours spent “in the winemaker’s path”.



Château Smith Haut Lafitte

33650 Martillac

E-mail : visites@smith-haut-lafitte.com

Phone : +33 (0) 557 83 11 22. 

Fax : +33 (0) 557 83 11 21.