An Amazing Career Pairing Golf and Wine in Bordeaux
By Tim Cotroneo
Melodie Bourdy’s life as a professional golfer on the European Ladies Tour was at a crossroads. This native of Bordeaux, France, pondered if she should keep grinding against Europe’s best golfers or take a swing at selling the product that placed her hometown on the world map over 2000 years ago.
Bourdy decided to hedge her career bet by starting a business that combined Bordeaux wines with the sport she’s excelled at since childhood. In 2018, Bourdy Golf Experiences was born. As a golfer, Bourdy always played aggressively, and she pursued this new entrepreneurial opportunity with the same fire.
“Toward the end of my golf career, I participated in events in the Bordeaux region and cultivated a network of potential business partners, prime travel sites, and top golf courses. I believed the Bourdeaux region was a prime locale for an audience seeking an exceptional golf, wine, and luxury experience,” Bourdy said.
Exceptional Golf and Vintage Wine
France is home to 700 golf courses and 27,000 wineries. More than 125,000 Bordeaux acres are dedicated to vineyards which produce 10,000 different wines. For those seeking elegant accommodations after playing golf and sipping wine, Bordeaux offers a wealth of chateaux that range from country houses to historic castles dating back to the 1500s.
“My goal in starting Bourdy Golf Experiences was to share my knowledge and love for Bordeaux to a worldwide audience. I began by creating a Destination Marketing Company that offered custom golf, wine, and gastronomy tours throughout the region. My clients play at the best golf courses, tour the best vineyards, and stay in the most luxurious chateau,” Bourdy said.
The company’s competitive edge benefitted from Bourdy’s expansive network that she nurtured over her years on the European Ladies Tour. Doors were also opened with the help of her brother Gregory, a four-time winner on the men’s European Tour. “I knew there was a market for these Bordeaux events from the people I met while on tour. I also reached out to the top luxury golf travel agencies whose clients are looking to book a unique experience,” Bourdy said.
Extraordinary Golf Accommodations
Whether she is coordinating a Pro-Am Event, a wine tasting, or a glimpse into French history, Bourdy always taps into Bordeaux’s finest amenities and accommodations. One of Bourdy Golf Experiences’ favorite destinations is the Golf du Medoc Resort.
This 150-acre resort is known for featuring two of France’s best golf courses, as well as the famous Medoc vineyards, a 4-Star hotel, a spa, and a training center for golf instruction. Golf enthusiasts will love the fact that the Chateau course played host to the French Open in 1999.
Bourdy clients also enjoy accommodations that are drenched in luxury. One Bourdy event centered around a stay at Chateau Gruaud Larose. This estate dates back to 1725, and the property surrounding the chateau is remarkable. A stay reveals corridors of hedges, a micro-forest of 800 plants, a sheep farm, four beehives, and biodynamic agriculture focused on herbal tea. The estate is named after a Knight, and its portfolio of wines includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.
The Next Step: Bourdy Fine Wines
As the Bourdy golf business grew, so did Melodie and Gregory’s relationship with people working at every level of the Bordeaux wine industry. In 2020, Bourdy Fine Wines opened with the siblings serving as merchants representing a collection of wines ranging from the most famous wine estates to confidential brands.
This Bourdy venture featured private vineyard tours, tastings, and dining at some of Bordeaux’s most highly regarded chateaux. The company’s current collection of wines includes Bordeaux, Alsace, Bourgogne, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire, and Rhone.
The Bourdy golf and wine businesses often include a deep dive into unique chapters of Bordeau culture. A Bourdy experience may also align with the Tour de France, the Ryder Cup, a boat trip along the Garonne River, or gastronomy events like caviar tasting, truffle hunting, or dining with a celebrity chef.
Savoring the Future
For the new year, Melodie Bourdy is looking forward to leading several Golf and Wine Tours and the three-day Pro-Am Bordeaux. This year’s Pro-Am promises a field including some of Europe’s top professionals, as well as accommodation at the Intercontinental Bordeaux LeGrand Hotel and the Hotel Golf Du Medoc Resort.
As committed as Bourdy is to her new entrepreneurial career, it’s still hard for her to say no to the sport she’s played since childhood. When asked if she still occasionally hungers for competition and international travel, Bourdy answered with a smile, “Well, I must admit I’m playing in a Pro-Am next week in Marrakesh.”
Whether she’s playing golf, hosting a Bordeaux chateau tour, or choosing a new red wine for her collection, Melodie Bourdy is a woman in motion. Clients of Bourdy’s businesses soon learn that when there’s good wine and good golf, anything is possible. https://www.bourdygolf-experiences.com/