Bordeaux Experience


From left to right Manu Ribas, Arnau Vivó, Joan Martí, Isabel Tarafa, Mar Portabella, Josep Samsó, Francesc Escala, the manager of Cheval Blanc, Manuel Raventós and Josep Manuel Ruiz.

We started our route from Sant Sadurní d’Anoia at 7 in a cold Thursday morning in February. Six hours and 634 km later we arrived at Saint Emillion and just breathing the thrilling fresh air of the Bordeaux region we knew that these two days were predicted to be a wonderful rediscovery of great vineyards. 

Spectacular Châteaux, personal stories, old vineyards and great wines. 

Petrus Olivier Borrouquet’s oenologist together with Mr. Manuel and Pepe Raventós, Bodega Petrus (Superior). Château Troplong Mondot vineyard, the CEO of Troplong Mondot Aymeric de Grionde with Pepe (Bottom).


February 10th, first stop: Petrus, probably the most legendary winery that any wine lover dreams of visiting one day. Olivier Borrouquet, his oenologist, received us and his first question was: Shall we go to the vineyards? In a matter of a few minutes we were already stepping on the mythical argile bleue so characteristic of its soil. Soils with more than 40 million years old. Borrouquet told us that it is difficult for the roots to penetrate this sedimentary rock, with which nature—which is wise—seeks its space and the vines spread to the sides in search of nutrition and depth; they do not reach scarce 60 to 80 centimeters. 

Back at the Château, Borrouquet opened the door and we entered a long, dark corridor. “Shhh, hush…” he whispered to us. We were about to go inside where all the barrels of the house sleep and rest, barrels which were dyed with an intense red that gave off a strong wine aroma. 

Château Troplong Mondot

Château Troplong Mondot

Afterwards we visited Château Troplong Mondot, it had rained a little, but the sun peeked through the clouds and we were able to enjoy a freshly sprayed landscape with the colors of the vineyard intensified. We were received by two important figures, Aymeric de Gironde, CEO of Troplong Mondot, and Remy Monribot, the technical director. They were accompanied by a very smart and curious dog. Visiting the vineyard, Remy picked up two stones (clay and gravel) and banged them together. From the friction, an odor was released, a smoky aroma of fire. Characteristic perfume throughout his vineyard. We discovered that they have a wonderful restaurant with 1 Michelin star, working in progress to get the second one! 

Chef David Charrier is in charge of giving support to the ingredients of the area, mostly from the vegetable garden cultivated with permaculture. We loved it! 

And, currently we can proudly say that we are the first Spanish sparkling wine on his menu with Textures de Pedra. 

Interior of the Cheval Blanc cellars.

Château Cheval Blanc

Château Cheval Blanc was the first visit on February 11th. Every detail was exquisitely cared, fruit trees flanking the vineyards, magnificent views, and emblematic rooms such as its “Orangerie” a salon that radiated light decorated with delicate floral details. The most recent reconstruction of the winery — inaugurated in 2011 — by the famous French architect Christian de Portzamparc is impressive. A bright design (thanks to the large windows) and classic, with concrete tanks that give the perfect austere touch. 

A staircase allows you to climb to the roof of the building where there is a terrace with panoramic views over the two regions: the north face is Pomerol, the south face is Saint- Émilion. And from this height our hosts explain to us in detail what the terroir from the “domaine” is like: 37 hectares divided into 44 plots, all different. The castle, the residence built by the Fourcaud-Laussac family in the mid-19th century, was also remodeled in 2000. 

(From left to right) Directeur technique del vignoble, son of the counts of Neipperg, Ludovic Neipperg. Landscape of the domaine and exterior of the Château Canon-la-Gaffelière & Château d’Aiguilhe.

Château Canon-la-Gaffelière & Château d’Aiguilhe

Finally, at midday, we returned to where, in that 1998, we left behind our personal and special adventure in Bordeaux. That Thursday of February 2022, more than 24 years later, Pepe and Manuel walked around Château d’Aiguilhe again. A place full of old memories for Pepe – where he spent several summers harvesting – and many other memories for Manuel Raventós where he initiated that risky move. 

After a walk along well-known corners of the vineyard, the lake or the dovecote; Ludovic Neipperg, son of the current owners and Technical Director, welcomed us and guided us through this journey full of past memories. 

He also took us to Canon-La-Gaffelière, where we tasted all of his wines. The modern circular cellar they have is spectacular. They say that this spherical base allows them to gain space. Ludovic took us to the ground 0 of the winery where the grapes arrive and, due to their own weight, fall by gravity into the concrete and wood tanks, thus treating the grapes with the utmost delicacy: like at home! 

In its commitment to the perfect balance between modernity and tradition, we were able to appreciate the cellar built more than 500 years ago where its wines rest. A curious place where the roof draws a boat seen from below. “It’s like a church” commented the Directeur Technique; and we are not surprised because it really was a location that has an inconceivable historical value. 

And with this we closed our visits, a few days of teamwork, learning and inspiration. If we could take only one thing in our suitcase it would be the savoire faire and respect for its territory with that difficult balance between tradition and modernity. 

It has been a real pleasure. A la prochaine bordeaux! 

It has been a real pleasure,

¡À la prochaine bordeaux!

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