Category Archives: In Pictures

Ten years on and two May hailstorms

Ten years ago but it’s still in fresh in the memory. 2009 turned out to be one of the great Bordeaux vintages for reds (okay, so 2010 and 2016 and now, arguably, 2018 would sit alongside it) but for us it was close to disaster with not one but two hailstorms in May. The vines that didn’t get clobbered on the 13th May were whacked on the 25th.

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Château-bottled isn’t what it used to be – in pictures

We’ve been bottling again this week, bringing in the same contractor but using an even smarter machine than before. This one comes in at a couple of million euros on the back of a few trucks, with all the bits, according to Thierry Bergeon who wrote the cheque. He’s the bottling guy and the logistics partner for many of Bordeaux’s leading châteaux. And us. Keep reading

Q1 in the vineyard – in pictures

The start of the year might seem like a quiet time yet there is so much to be done. We don’t host tours and tastings at Château Bauduc until April, so we have fewer visitors, but along with the bottling and other important tasks in and around the winery, there’s the winter pruning and preparation of the vines for the season ahead. Here’a an album of pics of the pruning, removal of old branches and the tying down of new ones.

With this photo gallery, you can tap, touch or click on a photo to enlarge it and for a description, then use the < arrows > to scroll through. Then use the X (top left) to exit.

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A flying visit to Selection Schwander

I flew to Zürich this week to pour our 2018 Sauvignon Blanc for customers in the tasting room at Selection Schwander. Philipp Schwander was the first Master of Wine in Switzerland and has a remarkably successful business selling wine to private consumers, mainly through mail order. We’ve known Philipp for many years – partly as a result of my somewhat geeky Bordeaux reports – and he’s selected our white for his limited list for the fourth vintage on the trot. In a competitive market, with over 3,700 wine merchants serving the good people of Switzerland, he’s made Bauduc into a popular brand and our Sauvignon is one of his top selling whites. We’re currently exporting more white wine to Switzerland than to the UK right now, thanks to him and clearly a very sophisticated clientele.

With this photo gallery, you can tap, touch or click on a photo to enlarge it and for a description, then use the < arrows > to scroll through. Then use the X (top left) to exit.

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A Long Weekend with David Pritchard

Watching Rick Stein’s Long Weekend in Bordeaux for the umpteenth time when it was repeated earlier this month brought back many happy memories but, on this occasion, it was tinged with considerable sadness. The director and producer David Pritchard, who had worked with Rick for many years, died a few weeks before this showing, following a brave battle with cancer.

On the face of it, the visit by David, Rick and the production team to Château Bauduc on the last day of our harvest in 2015 had culminated in just a few minutes of TV – albeit primetime BBC. By then though, David and I had become good friends and our friendship would continue, from afar, long after the filming had ended. So here’s a small tribute to the great man, with a gallery of pictures of his reconnaissance trip to Bordeaux, when he was accompanied by his wife and assistant Fiona, and of the filming of the Long Weekend itself with his crew.

David was an avid consumer of our newsletter – he would often call afterwards or drop us a line – so it seems only appropriate. Keep reading

Bottling our 2018 whites and rosé – in pictures

We’re usually a little wary of bottling in late January or February because of the cold. When you hire a machine to sit outside overnight, you can have nightmares along the lines of the wintry scene at the start of Gladiator, with Russell Crowe saying ‘the frost – sometimes it makes the blade stick.’ (Not quite, but you get the drift.)

Anyway, all was fine. Young Ed Findlay has been working for us in the vineyard and winery for a year. He was a junior school teacher and then photographer in England, before setting off to Bordeaux to live the dream of tending vines. Much as we think his pruning skills are improving, we’ve made use of his creative talents of late, such as with this album of the bottling of our 2018 dry whites and rosé.

With this photo gallery, you can tap, touch or click on a photo to enlarge it and for a description, then use the < arrows > to scroll through. Then use the X (top left) to exit. Keep reading

Véraison – 16 grape varieties changing colour

Every stage of the grapes’ development is fascinating to some of us but August is the month when most of the bunches change colour (véraison) in Bordeaux, so you really get a visual perspective on how the different varieties perform.

As well as the Bordeaux varieties, we have some non-Bordeaux grapes too, planted around ten years ago as an experiment. Most visitors have little idea that we’re restricted to growing only certain types of grapes, but that’s the same for all protected ‘appellations’ in France: should we wish to make wine with non-Bordeaux grapes, like Syrah or Chardonnay, this would have to be under the basic Vin de France label. (Only a tiny fraction of wine from the Gironde is Vin de France, the rest ‘Bordeaux’ or one of its 60-odd appellations.)

This is a long post below with several photos of each variety, and you certainly don’t need to know all about this stuff to enjoy a glass or two of wine. However, to give you a picture of how different grapes ripen at different times, here are several reds in the same block, taken on the same mid-August day:

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Same vines in late May, different years

Ten days after a hailstorm at Ch Bauduc on 23 May 2009.

Every year on the 23rd May, I take a photo of the Merlot vines outside the château and each picture tells a story. From the hailstorm in May in 2009, to the early harvest in 2011 and 2017, the grotty start to the growing season in 2013 and the normal, good years like 2016. Here are some of those photos.

The earliest growing season – a burst out of the blocks, 23 May 2011.

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Bauduc Harvest 2017

September is usually quite full-on, what with the start of the harvest and a new school year, but the 2017 edition has been bonkers. Not only have we completed the white harvest – which would normally be the case – but, as with the rest of Bordeaux this year, the reds are almost all in too. We’ve also hosted so many events at Bauduc we’ve had to recruit a live-in chef – what we’d have done without Elly, Lord knows. Keep reading

Bottling White and Rosé – in pictures

February is bottling month at Château Bauduc for the previous vintage’s whites and rosé. It’s the culmination of 16 months’ work when you take into account the pruning of the vines the winter before. It’s yet another time when we’re nervous about the weather – in previous years the machine has frozen up – but we were lucky this time. We bottled our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Les Trois Hectares Blanc and our Rosé. Keep reading