Tasting at Chateau Gaby with Kids….Not a disaster!
When my husband and I decided to go to France during the school Spring break, there was only one activity that was on his must-do list: visit a winery in the Bordeaux region. We did some quick math and found that 1 Day at Disney = 1 Hour at a winery. We were lucky to discover the beautiful Chateau Gaby, willing to accommodate our family on short notice in the off-season and tolerant of children. (As a side note – this is not a sponsored post – we are just happy to share a good experience with others!)
Now this post is not to be taken as some Joan of Arc battle cry that parents and babies are humans too and we should be able to visit a winery without all the old folks clutching their pearls in disgust. I get that many adults come here to get away from kids (believe me – I get it) and you’d like to hear about the wine and taste it without a 5 year bumping into your legs or a toddler announcing they have to poop.
But yes, we are human too and it felt criminal to be in Bordeaux without wine tasting. So we gambled and tried it, figuring what is the worst that could happen? (Nightmare scenario = My children breaking a stack of very expensive bottles of wine and us having to wash dishes to get home.)
So our strategy was to set up a tour in advance with the help of the amazing Renee at the family-friendly B&B Chateau Julie where we were staying. We gave them fair warning that children would be there and we went for a morning tour hoping it would be less crowded. We were in luck – the only ones there. This was early April, so a shoulder season and nice and quiet in the area in general.
A lovely lady showed us the grapevines and explained the winery’s philosophy, growing climate, and type of grapes. We also saw some huge whole wine barrels! I’d never seen any so big before! We learned about their use of a natural approach, using organic fertilizers. And learned how global warming might be changing the alcohol content %s of the vignobles wines. And while we listened we gazed out in wonder. What a view there looking out over the Dordogne river valley! She then took us through a tour of the production area and barrel room, explaining the production process in depth.
Meanwhile – outside, but nearby, our children are perfectly content playing on a small playground with swings and a slide, and a large trampoline. They were in heaven! And gave us a few blessed minutes of peace to listen to the tour. I think I quite like the idea of playsets for kids, I might have to invest in one for my garden at home!
Then into the tasting room we went. The kids were properly set up with kindles and coloring books, leaving us free for a moment to taste some amazing wines from a world-famous wine growing region.
We bought a few bottles to take with us. Unfortunately, they don’t do shipping to the US themselves, but were able to point us in the direction of a “cave” (wine shop) that does, and we were going to start looking at buying wine online at different places to see if we can find the same bottles or similar for the future.
Chateau Gaby – You Won Our Kids’ Approval
Overall a tasting at Chateau Gaby with kids in tow was far from the disaster I had feared – it was lovely and beautiful. I don’t know if they want to be touted as family-friendly, but with such a handy playground for the kids, I would highly recommend Chateau Gaby for other families willing to venture out for a tasting with kids in Bordeaux/ Fronsac/ Saint-Emilion.
For more information here is their website: Chateau Gaby
SCEA Vignobles Famille CURL
+33 (0) 5 57 51 24 97
Are you heading to France with Kids? Check out my other reports: