Bordeaux triumphs in World’s Best Vineyards 2021 ranking

A view of a Bordeaux vineyard

Bordeaux is home to some of the world's most famous vineyards - Credit: Esperanza33 Getty Images

France is home to four of the world’s best vineyards, as revealed in a recent ranking of the top 50 vineyards in the world. The World’s Best Vineyards 2021 award ceremony was held in Germany in September, which saw Bordeaux’s Château Margaux climb 22 places from 2020 to secure its third-place position in the top five, and its ranking as the second best vineyard in Europe after Spain’s Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal.  

Wine barrels in the cellar at Château Margaux

Wine barrels in the cellar at Château Margaux - Credit: Brice Braastad

France also claimed a further two places in the top 20, with fellow Bordeaux vineyard Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Champagne Taittinger in Reims taking 12th and 13th positions respectively. As Europe’s most-represented country in the top 20, France secured its fourth position in the top 50 with Château Mouton Rothschild, located in the village of Pauillac to the north-west of Bordeaux, at number 36.   

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte covers 87 hectares and is surrounded by forests - Credit: © www.deepix.com

For the first time ever, a list of the top 51-100 best vineyards has also been revealed, with France securing a further six places in the top 100, starting with Château Pichon Baron, also in Pauillac, at 51, closely followed by Champagne Billecart-Salmon in Marne at 55. 

Vines at Taittinger in France's Champagne region

Vines at Taittinger in France's Champagne region - Credit: David Picchiottino

The history of the Château Margaux estate can be traced back to the 16th century and in the early 19th century, Bordeaux architect Louis Combes built the estate’s neo-Palladian manor house, often nicknamed ‘the Versailles of the Médoc’. Modern additions include a winery and tasting rooms and a glass-fronted pavilion, completed by British architect Norman Foster in 2015. 

The World’s Best Vineyards list aims to highlight the sheer diversity across both established and emerging wine tourism destinations and is voted by an academy of 600 global wine and travel experts. French wines also secured a haul of top medals at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, ensuring France picked up more top medals than any other country.