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

A Vinexpo evening with a difference

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It was Vinexpo here in Bordeaux last week. A large number of the world’s wine producers and distributors together with international wine journalists and this year a good few high flying sommeliers descended on Bordeaux from Sunday to Thursday.

I actually thoroughly enjoy this week, though days can be a little bit long with dinners going on every night.

We decided to hold our own dinner at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron this year, but with a difference. We have often in the past held an AXA Millésimes event, either at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, Château Suduiraut, or at Château Petit-Village. This year we decided that it would be fun to break with tradition and invite some leading Douro red wine producers to come to Château Pichon-Longueville Baron and show their wines, followed by a dinner with a Portuguese theme.

The wine Douro producers at Château Pichon-Longueville - Vinexpo 2011

Although Château Pichon-Longueville Baron was the main host, and actually organized the event, each Douro producer contributed and invited their own guests, so we were all receiving the guests together at the chateau. It was an extremely convivial event, with one of the most exciting wine tastings before dinner that I have ever attended: all 24 Douro producers showed three wines, almost all from the 2008 vintage, in Château Pichon-Longueville Baron’s circular cellar. Quinta do Noval was of course present, as was Quinta da Romaneira.

The full list of Douro producers was as follows:
Churchill’s, Quinta de Cottas, Quinta do Crasto, Duorum, Durham-Agrellos, François Lurton, Quinta da Gaivosa, Lavradores de Feitoria, Muxagat, Niepoort, Quinta do Noval, Pocas, Poeira, Quinta do Portal, Prats & Symington / Symington Family Estates, Real Companhia Velha, Quinta da Romaneira, Roquette & Cazes, Quinta de la Rosa, Sogrape Vinhos, Quinta do Vale Dona Maria, Quinta do Vale Meão, Quinta do Vallado, Wine & Soul.

Douro wines tasting in the vathouse of Château Pichon-Longueville

The overall quality of the wines was outstanding, and I think a revelation to many of the people there.  Officially the tasting was for two hours from 7 to 9 o’clock, but at 9.00 everyone was still enthusiastically tasting. It is quite rare at this sort of event to have to drag people away from the wine tasting to get them to come to the dinner, but it was so: nobody wanted to leave.

Douro evening aperitif in the park of Château Pichon-Longueville

Douro evening aperitif in the park of Château Pichon-Longueville

We then had some great Douro white and Rose wines as aperitif with various Douro hors d’oeuvres: cod variations, wok-grilled almonds, Portuguese charcuterie. Then we sat down together to a dinner with a Portuguese theme prepared by Mr Capdevielle. All the producers were free to bring older wines from their Quintas, and we finished off with Quinta do Noval Colheita 1997 and a number of other Ports from the assembled producers. It was a unique evening, and for me a lovely opportunity to spend time with so many Portuguese friends in the wonderful setting of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron. Everyone seemed to have a good time. You can link to the following blog by Evelyne Resnick to get an objective appraisal from one of our guests: http://www.winebrandsblog.com/2011/06/when-bordeaux-welcomes-portugal-wines/

Douro evening Portuguese dinner

the names of the Douro wine producers - Château Pichon-Longueville