Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Chateau Pape Clement Visit 2007

On August 9th 2007, I visited Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac on the outskirts of Bordeaux.

It was very easy to get to, either bus from Bordeaux or tram from Bordeaux and then bus. The bus stop is right outside the chateau and is called Pont L'Orient. The journey takes about 30 minutes altogether.

We were greeted by a friendly tour guide who turned out to be very knowledgeable. Our tour lasted about 45 minutes in total and cost us nothing.

First we walked into the vines where we had a short talk about the viticultural philosophy. The vines are green harvested but only on one side so the grapes are subjected to the morning sun but are not sunburnt in the afternoon. The grapes were going through veraison so half of each bunch was black whilst the other half was still green. The fermentation hall was not viewable as all the steel tanks were being replaced by oak vats (a la Robert Mondavi Winery).

We saw both the red and white maturation rooms. The rooms are kept at nearly 100% humidity and no topping up of the barrels is performed as no wine evaporates. Next we toured the basement of the house which contains a replica of the tomb of the ex-pope but I thought it was a bit out of place and the choral music (from a boom box) didn't help.

Lastly, the tour guide took us to the wine boutique for a tasting. Unfortunately, we couldn't taste the grand vin but it was possible to taste a wide variety of Bernard Magrez wines from around the world as well as Gerard Depardieu wines as a lot of the times their properties are adjacent.

If I lived in Bordeaux, I would be making regular trips to this wine outlet. I believe Bernard Magrez also has an outlet in Paris. The chateau came into ownership of Bernard Magrez as his wife inherited the property.

More details about the history of the chateau etc. can be found on the website.

Website : Chateau Pape Clement

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