Appreciation towards Christian de Portzamparc for providing the following description:
truth of space cannot be dissociated from the imprint of time. The harmonious
relationship between inside and outside has also been a constant source of inspiration.
promontory extending the château, a lifting of the earth, raised by sails of concrete
towards the light and the sky. From a vantage point that seems to float in the air, the
eye takes in the swathes of vines and the age-old history of the landscape.
is a discreet cantilever effect suggestive of a pendulum, the geometry of the curved
surfaces and their living substance of muted white moulded concrete, the unique
atmosphere that derives from the natural light descending earthwards inside the vat
house, between the contours of the great concrete vats. This refusal of enclosure,
even though inherent in the material, is a remarkable innovation: the "winery under the
hill" is a place of concentration, almost of meditation, and yet open to what surrounds
it, being as permeable to the light of the vineyard as to the coming and going of
workers and visitors. Between inside and outside, the winery is a place of
transmutation and human interaction.
between the place and its purpose. And that is probably where the elegance comes from:
we are in the place where an exceptional wine is made, among the sublimated instruments
of a highly demanding task that calls for skills to match. No line here is superfluous:
everything contributes to the perfection of the actions involved, and it shows.
ostentation. There are 52 vats because that is what parcel selection requires, and they
are made of concrete. If the walls are of mashrabiya, it is to facilitate natural
ventilation. The lighting is sober because it does not seek display or decoration. In
fact, everything has been designed to replace energy-hungry systems with economical
solutions. As a result, the winery is one of the few buildings in the wine business to
have High Environmental Quality (HQE) certification, meeting particularly demanding
criteria relating not only to the environment but also to the type of materials used,
to water, energy and waste management, controlled hygrometry, acoustic, visual and
olfactory comfort and the well-being of the people who work there.
and a sensuality made visible, Cheval Blanc looks to the future.
There are some exceptional wines in the world. Cheval Blanc is one of them.
to the beginning of the Quaternary Period and the sediments of the nearby river Isle.
The patchwork terroir consists of clay, sand and gravel. The unusual proportion of
Cabernet Franc, combined with Merlot, gives Cheval Blanc a unique and timeless
identity, producing a wine which has the capacity to be good at any age.
That subtle association and perfect complementarity give Cheval Blanc its distinctive
character, a combination of power and elegance.
When referring to it, people sometimes speak of absolute art.
obtained premier Grand Cru classé « A » classification in 1954, a supreme distinction
that has since been regularly confirmed in every decade.
Bernard Arnault and Baron Frère acquired the estate in 1998, bringing a breath of
elegant modernity and new vitality. They maintained Pierre Lurton as general manager of
the Château. He continues to preserve the wine's identity and style while at the same
time ensuring a high level of environmental and ecological awareness. Every action is
the result of measured reflection. Technology never has the last word over people whose
know-how draws on a wealth of history, tradition, skill and talent.
The parcels of vines, tended like a Japanese garden, are planted with two varieties,
Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Cheval Blanc may justifiably be regarded as « Haute Culture
» applied to wine.
a new winery, they aspired to excellence and sought to break new ground. The
vinification of Cheval Blanc is a traditional business, consistent with a perpetual
quest for harmony and balance. It involves parcel management and respect for the cycle
of the vine, constant adaptation to the nature of the grape and thoughtful, measured
and considered attention to every action. The programme takes account of the specific
features of individual parcels, as well as exacting standards and respect for nature.
But the owners also wanted something that would anticipate the future while blending
into a historic landscape, since Saint-Émilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was a challenging mission that called for a rare combination of talents.