The “Taille Medocaine” at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

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It is pruning time here in Bordeaux. This is a short video clip showing Alexandra Lebossé and Joël Dupuy in the vineyard at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, demonstrating how we prune here.

If you have trouble watching this video, view the web version here

Here are a couple of photographs which illustrate more closely the operations Joël performs in the video.

Joël about to prune the cot de retour for next year’s growth.
Joël about to prune the cot de retour for next year’s growth.
The cot de retour
The cot de retour
Overview of a pruned vine. Taille Médocaine.
Overview of a pruned vine. Taille Médocaine.
Detail of the cot de retour on the same vine.
Detail of the cot de retour on the same vine.

Video Clips at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

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Château Pichon-Longueville - QR code and its mobile website

We have just launched the Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Quick Response Code (QR code) and its mobile website. I think the idea is great, giving people the chance to find out more about the property and the people behind the wine, just by scanning the QR code with a smartphone on the back of the bottle.

The QR code is on CChâteau Pichon-Longueville Baron bottles from 2009 vintage onwards. It will also be supplied to retailers and restaurants to give their customers access to this information for older vintages.

Here are the three video clips that appear when you scan this QR code.

If you have trouble watching the video “The identity of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron”,
view the web version here

If you have trouble watching the video “Fining with egg white”,
view the web version here

If you have trouble watching the video “The first tasting of the 2011 vintage”,
view the web version here

The 2011 Médoc Marathon

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2011 Medoc Marathon - Château Pichon-Longueville team

We had a wonderful day for the Médoc Marathon this year. The early morning was particularly beautiful as you can see from this photo of the Château Pichon-Longueville Baron team ready to leave for the race, taken on the steps of the château.

Davar Irvani and his wine loving friends from London, Woody and Alex claimed to have chosen their elegant penguin costumes with striking bow ties in tribute to my normal get-up, which made me feel suitably honoured.

There was a great ambiance this year, very relaxed. Château Pichon-Longueville Baron was at kilometer 4, so we decided not to serve wine there, but instead at Château Pibran, at kilometer 22,7. (These decimal points matter when you are doing the run).

2011 Medoc Marathon - Miss Médoc at Château Pibran

Here you see my assistant Ruth Santry’s daughter Laura, who for very obvious reason has just won the title “Miss Medoc”, waiting to welcome runners at Château Pibran just before the onslaught. (The first ones through take a Spartan approach to glasses of wine and do not stop, but a significant proportion are here for a party, which is just about to begin.)

2011 Medoc Marathon - Marie-Louise Schÿler

Marie-Louise Schÿler pictured above was running in the Château Pichon-Longueville Baron team of course, looking very relaxed about the ordeal, in spite of being pursued by several people with eccentric headgear. Marie-Louise is part of a group called Bordeaux Grands Crus Runners, from fifteen properties in Bordeaux, who are all training together for the New York Marathon.

I was running alongside my friend Axel Probst, the German Port enthusiast and expert, who in spite of his youth and Olympian form (he was a competitive swimmer and then a pilot in the Luftwaffe), was polite enough to run at the same speed as me until kilometer 19 when I needed a rest before limping in slowly to Château Pibran, where we met up again as you see.

2011 Medoc Marathon - Château Pibran

Here we are together with Miss Médoc and Alex Smith, one of the bow tied penguins, who also got to Château Pibran before me in spite of wearing his thick Penguin suit.

It was as always a great event, with a festive and convivial atmosphere, proving that neither wine nor exercise need always to be taken too seriously, and are just a part of a healthy and balanced life.

The horses of Château Petit-Village

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We began working with horses at Château Petit-Village earlier this year.

The Horses of Château Petit-Village

Java and Milord are working horses, Breton and Percheron respectively.

In this initial phase we are working 3 of our 10,8 hectares with Java and Milord. The results so far are very encouraging, among the advantages being a reduction in compacting of the soil that results from working with tractors, and the possibility of giving individual attention to the vines and their needs due to the pace of the work and the close personal contact of the men working the horses with the work that is being undertaken.

The Horses of Château Petit-Village

This experiment is proving very positive, and I was surprised the first time I saw the horses at work at my strongly emotional reaction. These wonderful animals were our partners in agriculture for thousands of years, and it is only a few decades since we abandoned them to pursue mechanical efficiency. It is a noble and beautiful sight to see man and horse at work together again in this way, and we intend to continue and extend this experiment, which apart from the aesthetic experience it affords, has several real practical advantage.

The Horses of Château Petit-Village

The Horses of Château Petit-Village

The Horses of Château Petit-Village