Monthly Archives: February 2010

On the bus.

Join Bordeaux students.. on the bus. The Bordeaux bus is a special discovery offer for students; for only € 15 hop on the bus, visit and taste at 2 Bordeaux Chateaux. Next dates are 20th March to the Haut Medoc visiting Château d’Agassac and Château du Taillan and on the 10th April Pessac Leognan visiting Château Haut Bailly and Château Pape Clement. No cheating, student cards will be asked for !

It’s never been easier to get to Bordeaux.

There are daily flights from Bordeaux to London, Paris, Geneva and Amsterdam all year round however with the summer season looming it will be even easier to visit us in Bordeaux.

Check out the daily flights on BA from Gatwick – www.britishairways.com and Easy Jet from Luton and Gatwick.

The seasonal service during the summer months includes flights from Bristol and Liverpool, on www.easyjet.com or with Flybe during July and August to Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester and Southampton – www.flybe.co.uk and with Ryanair to Cork and Edinburgh to Bordeaux – www.ryanair.com

Or of course there is always the ‘Green option’ : Eurostar via Lille or Paris (only takes about 7 hours each way from London and 3 hours from Paris) – www.eurostar.com
If you’re visiting Saint Emilion get off one stop early at Libourne

Bon voyage!

From Bordeaux to Sonoma

Bordeaux is not the only wine region where you can rent apartments to make you feel at home. For rentals in the USA directly from the owner visit the web site : www.vrbo.com . Vacation rental by owner is a terrific resource if you want a change from the classic hotel option. Should you be in Sonoma wine country and looking for a rental in the Alexander valley type in ref 241800 for a studio in the vineyards on Chalk Hill, right opposite Lancaster Estate and minutes from the beautiful town of Healdsburg – which has more restaurants per square mile than you can eat your way through.

The studio on Chalk Hill

On the wings of a Dove.

Château Paloumey a cru bourgeois in the Haut Medoc that rare thing in Bordeaux, a property that has been completely reinvented.
Well established in the early 19th century Paloumey was a victim of Phyloxera and the economic crisis that led to it being uprooted and disappearing in the 1950s.
Never one to be afraid of a challenge , Martine Cazeneuve, purchased the house and land in 1989 and started from scratch; no vines, no cellars, no nothing!
The property is now over 30 ha in size all under sustainable agriculture and the signature dove can be found on the labels or capsules. Why a dove? A Palombe is the wild dove that migrates through the region to and from Spain and a Paloumey is the route the doves follow. Hence the name of the second wine ‘ Les Ailes de Paloumey’ the wings of a Dove.

Can you spot the dove?

Château d’Yquem – a women’s wine?

The cellar master at Château d’Yquem is a cellar mistress; Sandrine Garbay is well known in Bordeaux and further afield as being the talented wine maker of this prestigious property and is often cited as an example of the current increasing role of women in winemaking in Bordeaux;
But visiting Yquem yesterday the point was made that a women playing a leading role in Yquem’s history is nothing new.
In 1711 the Sauvage family became full owners of the property and it was passed down to Françoise Josephine de Sauvage d’Yquem who married Count Louis Amédé de Lur Saluces in 1785.
3 years later her husband died and the young widow took over the property. She was quite a lady, being thrown into prison twice during the French revolution but she continued to make Yquem prosper, even building a new wine cellar in 1826 and introducing picking in several waves When she died in 1851 just before the famous classification that ranked Yquem top of the Bordeaux vineyards, she left a thriving estate to her grandson.

Sandrine Garbay is carrying on a time-honoured tradition

Cabernet and Chocolate

The Cabernets from Napa are just like the wonderful women who hosted us for the Wine Entre Femme symposium last weekend: Big, Bold and Beautiful!
It has been said, especially by Europeans, that these wines are difficult to match with food but I beg to differ – they are the perfect match for chocolate and I’m not the only one to think so.
Included at lunch in the spectacular cellars of Harlan Estate, hosted by Vineyard Manager Mary Hall Maher, were a selection of chocolates from local St Helena Chocolatier Woodhouse in their characteristic Tiffany blue boxes.
Jane Balentine had the same idea after an amazing Lobster Feed in the cellars at William Cole Vineyards. Chocolate cupcakes and dainty chocolate drops were on the menu.
Could chocolate and Cabernet be the perfect Valentine match?

Woodhouse chocolates – there’s more to Napa than Cabernet

Oh and Bordeaux is doing it too….

So chocolate and Haut Bailly for St Valentine too? Nip into the shop at Château Haut Bailly and buy their chocolates specially crafted by Bordeaux artisan chocolatier Saunion, or pick up a box at the Saunion store in Bordeaux (56 cours Georges Clemenceau) and you will receive an invitation for a free visit for 2 to the Château.
How romantic!

The chocolates were designed to match the wines from Château Haut Bailly and are delicious – tested by yours truly!