A Domaine Clarence Dillon estates tour offers an unparalleled way to experience Bordeaux

Domaine Clarence Dillon produces some of the world's finest wine. We take a trip to their vineyards to see how

Clarence Dillion Château Quintus estate in bordeaux
(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

At Château Quintus the dirt is gold. The Bordeaux estate is located in one of the most valuable wine-making regions in the world, with a hectare of land going for at least €7m (a figure matched only by certain areas of Burgundy and Champagne). 

Clarence Dillion vineyards

(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

That’s because the terroir – the particular combination of earth and weather that dictates the unique composition of a wine – is so perfect in this region, that it is nearly impossible to produce a bad grape. Still, the land is treated with devotional reverence and nurtured with maternal-like care. Every day, someone goes out and hand-picks the grapes, tastes them for quality, and prunes the leaves to ensure they get the exact right balance of sun and shade. 

Clarence Dillion quintus red wine

(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

The result is a wine that is admired the world over for its quality, characterised by a fruity core that is enriched by the unique clay-limestone terroir. A trip to Bordeaux is not complete without a taste of it, nor, we would argue, a visit to it.

Clarence Dillion saint emilion


(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

Château Quintus is located right outside Saint-Émilion, a mediaeval village almost entirely carved out of limestone, with winding streets leading to cathedrals and empty convents and shop fronts with Old World script. A Unesco world heritage site, Saint-Émilion is so postcard-perfect it feels almost unreal. 

When I went for dinner on my first night there, I was sat behind a long table of men in Breton shirts and berets pillaging bowls of mussels and baskets of baguette hunks. It felt like a joke but also inevitable – if I was ever going to see something so absurdly and stereotypically French it would have to be here. 

Clarence Dillion estate France

Château Quintus

(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

Château Quintus is only a 30-minute walk outside the village, through an equally storybook landscape of rolling vineyards and old windmills. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you spot a hilltop guarded by a large bronze dragon, with its wings spread wide and its claws poised. The statue was commissioned by Domaine Clarence Dillon’s Chairman & CEO Prince Robert of Luxembourg to protect the precious 45 hectares (including 42 of vineyards) on the estate. 

Prince Robert has been an innovative force in the development of the historic Domaine Clarence Dillon house since he joined the family business (Clarence Dillon was his great grandfather) in 1997. He acquired Quintus in 2011, the fifth (hence the name) growth in the Domaine Clarence Dillon catalogue, alongside Château Haut-Brion red, Château Haut-Brion white, Château La Mission Haut-Brion red, Château La Mission Haut-Brion white

La Cave du Château

La Cave du Château

(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

Château Haut-Brion, the estate considered the first luxury wine brand in the world, is closed to the public for renovations for the next two years, but the other Clarence Dillon locations can be visited for tasting sessions.

La Cave du Château, in particular, is a must-visit for those looking to purchase a few bottles of wine to bring back home. The traditional estate contains the third shop from La Cave du Château, which has been a key retail destination for connoisseurs of fine French wines since the first edition opened off the Champs-Elysées in 2015. 

In a highly modernised environment, with touchscreens and state-of-the-art fridges, the shop provides wine lovers with the possibility of purchasing the latest vintages and collectable rarities from Domaine Clarence Dillon estates. Beneath the shop is a vast vaulted tasting room and patio for group tastings, or private or professional receptions.

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion

(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

Chateau Mission Haut Brion, can also be booked for private tasting sessions. A 16th-century estate with vineyards once maintained by Lazarist priests, the Chateau retains a cloister-like atmosphere, with a small, stained-glass windowed chapel, manicured gardens and sculptures of saints scattered throughout. 

Inside the exclusive tasting room, visitors will find a space sculpted by Italian woodworkers, with walls covered in original engravings by Albrecht Dürer. It is a room that is special on its own, and creates a wine-tasting experience unlike any other. 

Clarence Dillion estate

(Image credit: Domaine Clarence Dillon)

All in all, the Clarence Dillon tour offers an exceptional experience of Bordeaux that is intoxicating in every sense of the word. 


Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.