Category Archives: In Pictures

Chateau Bauduc – harvesting in the dark, with pics

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night-harvest-5-of-31Another weekly update on what’s happening at Bauduc doesn’t really rank up there with Bake Off and Brangelina but we thought we’d keep you up to date with our harvest news and the latest photo album.

After last week’s hand picking, this was ’harvesting in the dark’ week. There are a few reasons for picking Sauvignon Blanc by machine before dawn. Firstly, the grapes and the juice come in nice and chilly, with less risk of oxidation. Secondly, the other chateaux who hire our man Guy and his machines rarely start before 8am, so we can usually make up our minds about what to harvest at the last minute. (Guy, you see, is from the Charente and he’s that rare sort of Frenchman who wants to bill for as many hours as possible.) Keep reading

Sparkling Bauduc – the story in pictures

Favorites - 1 of 1We released our first sparkling wine from Chateau Bauduc this week. It’s available direct from us for delivery in the UK. Here’s the story of the wine in pictures, from the creation of the vineyard to the wine in bottle.  They’re the same images that you can find in the Photo Albums on the Bauduc website and Bauduc Facebook page too – I’m just trying to see what works.

Tap, touch or click on a photo to enlarge it and for a description, then use the < arrows > to scroll through. Keep reading

Bordeaux 2016 – vines in May compared to previous years

23 May 2016

23 May 2016 – a little later than 2015 but reasonable for the time of year

I’ve taken a picture of the vineyard in front of the chateau on the 23rd May each year. The date has no special significance – it just happened that way – and the pictures are as much for my records as anything else. They provide a useful comparison as to how these Merlot vines have advanced since budburst at the beginning of April. It’s always shortly before the important flowering. Keep reading

Paul Pontallier – in pictures

It was with great sadness that we learned that Paul Pontallier had passed away on Easter Monday. Paul was the Director of Chateau Margaux and a Bordeaux institution. He will be hugely missed, starting with this year’s en primeur tastings in April: tasting with M. Pontallier at Margaux, where he’d been in charge since 1990, was one of the highlights of the calendar.

Paul in 2015.

Paul Pontallier in 2015.

Paul would have been 60 in April. I’ve had the privilege of sampling and chewing over pretty much every vintage with him since the turn of the century. You couldn’t wish for a more interesting, charming and – I’m sure he won’t mind me saying – a more polished host. He was always impeccably turned out, had beautiful manners and was extremely generous with his time and knowledge. Keep reading

London’s fine wine club: 67 Pall Mall – in pictures

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We were thrilled that London’s smartest new club, 67 Pall Mall, poured Chateau Bauduc throughout the opening evenings last week. 200 bottles of Les Trois Hectares red 2011 disappeared, and half as much Sauvignon Blanc on top, alongside the free-flowing Gosset Champagne. Well done to all the team – a cracking effort.

Master of Wine and club member Richard Hemming has published A first look inside 67 Pall Mall. ’Les Trois Hectares 2011 was on very fine form’ he wrote.

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Bauduc 2015 reds looking tasty – in pictures

Rick admiring the Bauduc Cabernet. No, really.

Rick admiring the Bauduc Cabernet. No, really.

It was great to welcome Rick Stein back to Bauduc as we brought in the last of our reds on 12 October. He spent some time in the vineyard with the pickers and we chatted about the harvest and what-not in front of the cameras. Thankfully, the Cabernet Sauvignon was looking and tasting really good. ‘They’re the best looking grapes we’ve filmed’ said cameraman Chris Topliss.

This year, we’ve handpicked some blocks while others we machine harvested early in the morning. We’ll see how they compare.

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A long weekend with Rick Stein – in pictures

Rick was in Bordeaux as he’s filming a new series called ’Rick Stein’s Long Weekends’, planned for the beeb next April.

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The first location that Rick and director David Pritchard plumped for was Bordeaux and it was a pleasure to spend a few days with them and the team as their ‘fixer’. I arranged the wine-themed scenes (after David and his wife Fiona had been out here on a recce) and organised a visit to Chez Hortense at Cap Ferret on the coast; with the harvest on, I roped in our old friend Emma Quancard to help arrange the Bordeaux and Arcachon bit. It should be a great show, although there were some moments that will hopefully end up on the cutting room floor. My overcooked roast lamb, for starters. Keep reading

Harvesting in the dark – in pictures

We like harvesting in the dark. We started the Sauvignon Blanc at Bauduc on Tuesday 16 September and over the next ten days we harvested just a parcel each morning by machine. Thanks to the fine weather, we’ve had the relative luxury of being able to wait for each block of vines to ripen, instead of having to rush everything in at once – and the grapes have been brought in during the coolest part of the day. Although picking by hand has more romance about it, I’m a big fan of picking Sauvignon Blanc when it’s comparatively chilly and away from the glare of the midday sun.

Bauduc 23 Sept 2014 - 060 - Version 2

It’s been a hot and sunny September, yet we faced a worrying shower on Wednesday night (17/9) and then a brief storm on Thursday afternoon. That storm brought hail to some growers up the road, poor sods, but we survived with just some heavy rain for a few minutes.

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Hand-picked start to Bauduc 2014 harvest – in pictures

We kicked off the 2014 harvest at Bauduc last week by picking some white grapes by hand. These were from young Sémillon vines that we planted exactly ten years ago.

The most effective way to harvest white bunches by hand is to cut and sort them into small, stackable crates called cagettes. I say ’sort’ although what we really mean by this is to cut out any ugly, mouldy bits. This process is used by many of the leading Bordeaux chateaux nowadays for their reds, with many having switched to using cagettes in the last few years.

The advantage with stackable crates is that the bunches don’t get crushed, so the grapes stay intact and the juice doesn’t oxidise. You don’t want a soupy trailer full of grapes and juice warming up under a midday sun. And since the beginning of September it has been sunny and, mostly, pretty hot.

With the brilliant Nelly and Daniel 'Ramone'. 2014 is our 16th harvest together.

With the brilliant Nelly and Daniel ‘Ramone’. 2014 is our 16th harvest together.

We have a small team of around 16 pickers and four porters, in addition to Daniel, Nelly and me. For the mornings only mind, as the afternoons are too hot to harvest – not for the team, but for the grapes. Freshness is the key. Keep reading