The hinterland of south-west France is bursting with vineyards and handsome stone architecture lining the rivers that criss-cross Nouvelle-Aquitaine. We put the spotlight on seven delightful villages overflowing with fine wine and spirits.

The first stop on our road trip are the shores of the Gironde estuary. With its ever-changing scenery of salt marshes, salt meadows and dead cliffs, Mortagne-sur-Gironde will tempt you to taste the good life. Pay a visit to the Château Beaulon, a listed monument, just 15 minutes south of the enchanting village and port. Take a stroll through the grounds of the château and explore the mysterious blue fountains with their legends, cognac and Pineau des Charentes.


The fortified village of Bourg-sur-Gironde is tucked away at the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne at the entrance to the Gironde estuary. Here Château de la Grave welcomes visitors to take a walk in the vineyard, revel in a tasting and enjoy a never-to-be-forgotten break.


Domaine du Grand Mayne in Pays de Bergerac et Duras invites oenophiles to go on a winegrower’s picnic. Once you’ve been perked up by this delightful snack, everybody is free to set out to explore the meandering Dropt and Dourdèze, and to take a detour to Duras for a visit to its listed château.


Château d’Arche on the banks of the Ciron in Sauternes welcomes the public to tour its 17th century charterhouse. As well as enjoying a tasting of some grands crus classés, bikes are available for you to hire so you can roam across the vineyard with your hair in the breeze.


The commune of Navarrenx rise above the Gave d'Oloron in the direction of Jurançon, on the Camino de Santiago. Not far from this old bastide, Domaine Le Bois Sacré opens the doors to its farm and cellar for you to enjoy a selection of local wines and cheeses.


The fortified village of Saint Jean Pied de Port is on the Nive in the heart of the Basque Country and only an hour from the coast - and it’s well worth a visit! Close by, overlooking the vines clinging to the mountain sides, Domaine Mourguy organises walks accompanied by a donkey… followed by tastings of local wines and homemade apple juice.


Do you have the urge to set out to sea? Then head for the island of Oléron! La-Brée-les-Bains, surrounded by marshes and vineyards, will bowl you over with its bewitching panoramas. There’s nothing better than hopping on your bike at this seaside resort and pedalling until you reach Saint-Georges-d'Oléron, where you can feast your eyes on the immense aging cellar owned by the winegrowers of Oléron.


Simply by going with the flow, curious visitors will uncover many more hidden gems in the nooks and corners of the local vineyards!