The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Christmas special Issue 27

Come to France through the pages of The Good Life France Magazine... Discover: Provence, the hidden gems and most beautiful villages, French Alps, UNESCO listed Rocamadour... recipes and giveways, guides and an interview with international best-selling Kate Mosse who shares her favourite places in France...

Châteaux, food and wine

Châteaux, food and wine A short walk from the village is Château Soutard, a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé, with a castle you can stay in overnight, and a winery rebuilt with the latest of technology and innovations. There are wonderful views into the valley around. Take one of their bicycles on a tour around the property, following the signs and explore many interesting features this property has to offer. Learn how Merlot becomes the queen of wines here. You will see a bygone era inside the historic castle of an aristocratic past and witness quality wine making in an ultra-modern winery. They also have a large wine shop and boutique. elegance befitting of a queen. The tasting bar sits on a cool 360-degree rotating platform. They have the greatest range of tours, tastings, workshops, activities and culinary opportunities of any château in Bordeaux. I lost count at 22! And they treat every visitor like a professional. Tours are sommelier-led and customized to your level of knowledge and interest. Owned by the Bic Pen family, the walls of the tasting room depict the four seasons of the vineyard drawn solely with eight Bic pens - it took the artist seven months to render this masterpiece. Isolated on top of their own elevated plateau on the Saint-Émilion limestone, with their own forest, parks and gardens, Château de Ferrand, a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé, operate within their own isolated ecosystem with diversified soil characteristics and no herbicides. Inside, are fully renovated buildings filled with high-tech modern

On the northwest edge of this appellation is the famed Château Cheval Blanc, one of only four Premier Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé – A. They border Pomerol and share the blue clay vein that extends into their property, which produces Merlot of extraordinary quality. As one of the world’s best-known wines, their property reflects the prestige captured in their bottles. Contrasted by traditional buildings, a futuristic structure was designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Christian de Portzamparc with the latest in winemaking technology and customized tanks designed for each and every individual vineyard plot. Above: Tasting room art created using 8 Bic pens, Chateau de Ferrand; below left, Chateau Soutard; below Chateau la Dominique Next door is Château La Dominique, open to the public all year with creative ideas in tours and tastings. My favorite is their underground blind tasting experience taken to the extreme. They built an underground tasting room to neutralize all the senses. First, the elevator ride down gets you in a quiet state. Then contrasted by walking on a noisy floor of loose stones. The room is extra dark, with minimal mood lighting. By the time you get to the table and sit down, your senses are heightened and confused at the same time. Now it is time to begin. Bottles of wine, all the exact same shape and size, are covered with black socks. Wine glasses are all black and of the same shape and size. Are you blinded yet? Then they dim the lights even further, and you hear the sound of wine being poured. This is truly blind wine tasting. They have a gourmet rooftop restaurant La Terrasse Rouge both indoors and outdoors where you will find a large display of red glass stones covering most of the roof beyond the dining area and a view of magnificent vineyard landscapes. Their menu oozes with temptations, including desserts to die for. You will not be able to go just once! And imagine this: they have all ten Bordeaux first-growths (crus) on the wine list.

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