The Banks of the Gironde represent some of the best wine-growing conditions in France. The world renowned villages of St Estephe, Pauillac and Margaux are where the Sporting Wine Club travelled to visit Jacky Lorenzetti, owner of Racing 92 and self declared lover of fine wines as expressed through his three chateaux.
Chris and I kicked off our mini tour at the Chateau Lilian Ladouys, enjoying some superb French cuisine. Jacky graciously congratulated Chris on the Irish Grand Slam while I continued to practise my French and look forward to the Champions Cup Q Final at Clermont where Racing 92 feature in an all French clash.
After a comfortable night in our 16th century surroundings, the wine tour showed up traditional winemaking skills, and then we moved on to Chateau Pédesclaux, one of the most modern wineries in the world. Stunning technology and gravity based techniques create a Grand Cru Classée Classic and more besides. The tour was a real highlight and the lunch even more so, quality wines in attendance at all times.
Finally to the Chateau D’Issan, whose wines were served at the wedding of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 13th Century. A moated Chateau looking onto a windmill (whence comes the Moulin D’Issan) and the river just beyond tells you all you need to know about the beauty of the region. Traditional winemaking techniques again dominated and we were left in awe of the history and quality of all three chateaux we visited.
We will be coming back here that’s for sure and if these pictures don’t persuade you ………
Best Chris and Simon