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Come and meet the young generation of wine makers and managers who are ringing the changes in Bordeaux and are keen to meet their clients face to face to share their passion, building experiences some of which are also aimed at a younger generation.
One of the key ways the younger generation is pioneering change is in the respect for the environment. Château Angludet is one of the oldest properties in the Médoc and is the home of the Sichel family, wine merchants in Bordeaux for six generations. Benjamin Sichel, from the sixth generation, is using a blend of integrated, organic and alternative management practices to protect the environment and preserve the terroir for future generations. His niece Daisy, loves to explore the biodiversity, plants and animals as well as the vines with visitors. She shows them around the vineyard where she grew up in an electric golf cart, affectionately known as Bernadette.
Respecting the natural environment has always been a priority at Château d'Eyran where Charles Savigneaux worked alongside his father Stephane, to build a contemporary eco-friendly cellar. They maximised the light with a central glass roof and floor-to-ceiling windows and, to economise energy, it is insulated using ecological and local bio-bricks. The wooden cladding, terracotta tiles and paint using natural pigments help it to blend into and respect the environment.
Frédéric Bellanger took over the reins of his family property Château Roquefort in 1995, developing it into a 240 hectares estate.
He wanted to manage this expansion by integrating the vines into the exceptional setting of forest, fields and meadows. Highly committed to biodiversity, he believes the way to enhance heritage is by respecting the generosity of nature. His wife Anne recently joined him to highlight the history and traditions of the property, respecting the culture of the French way of life. Their four daughters, Victoire, Inès, Eva and Raphaëlle will also soon be contributing in turn to this unique historic heritage.
Coralie de Boüard-Maillet is also a member of the new generation of a long-standing Bordeaux family. After working with her father in the family estate, Château Angelus in Saint Emilion, she took over the management of Château La Fleur de Boüard in neighbouring Lalande de Pomerol in 2014, working alongside the expert winemaker Philippe Nunes.
The unique winery with its hanging, inverted, truncated tanks is a powerful illustration of the estate’s philosophy of innovation. Her innovations include a more modern bottle design and an event-based approach to wine tourism and opening up three guest rooms and a pool to welcome guests.
Château Larrivet Haut-Brion is another family run estate, acquired by the Gervoson family in 1987.
For thirty years they have continued to invest, increasing the vineyard and renovating the cellars and chateau. In 2009, Emilie, one of their three daughters, joined the team with a focus on wine tourism. They have since become a serial winner of Best Of Wine tourism awards. In 2015, she asked designer Soline Portmann to create an aromatic garden inspired by wine tasting. The star of the garden is the rose 'Demoiselles de Larrivet Haut Brion' created by breeder Meilland Richardier and named after the family's three daughters and the second wine of the property.
The vineyards of Bordeaux are also innovating with experiences with a younger generation of wine enthusiasts in mind.
In Sauternes, you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the vineyard at Chateau Rayne Vigneau. Supervised by a professional tree climber, guests can climb (with a little help of a rope and harness) the magnificent two-hundred-year-old cedar tree in the grounds of the Chateau and sit at a suspended table, sipping the delicious sweet wines of the property.
This new generation are rising to the challenge of respecting both tradition and the environment whilst finding innovative ways to opening their doors to all generations.
By @Wendy Narby, Insider Tasting