Diminutive neighbour to nearby Château Haut-Briond, which is rated among the top 'first growths' in the 1855 classification, Château Les Carmes Haut Briond is named after Carmelite monks – Les Carmes – who tended vines here from 1584 until the French Revolution. The 16th-century chateau is very much intact and contrasts beautifully with its millennial cellars and tasting room designed by French designer Philippe Starck. Resembling a majestic ship, the striking building 'floats' in a pool of water and is accessed by footbridges.

Guided visits include a tour of the 19th-century chateau gardens and cellar, and end with wine tasting. Advance reservations online or by telephone are essential. The chateau is 4km southwest of the cathedral, in Pessac. Take tram line A from Hôtel de Ville to the François Mitterrand stop, a 10-minute walk from the chateau.