There are some encounters that leave you indifferent, and others that bring you something very singular. Among those ones (which The Experience Company provides) is the following visit, one of the simplest yet most refined and memorable moments.
In the South part of the beautiful and rich Bordeaux area is the sub-region of Graves, which name comes from the small gravels and stones that make a big part of the land there. For the wine traveller this place may seem a bit less familiar than the chateaux in the Northern part of the Left Bank – yet it will certainly leave a trace.
Warmly greeted with a big smile, we didn’t start the visit until we exchanged a personal conversation, understanding who we were, why we’d come and what we’d like to see. As we then wandered through the corridors of the estate, we became quickly acquainted with the history, characters and wines of Chateau Haut-Bailly, First Growth in Graves AOC. And by the way, the 2009 vintage got a 98 Parker.
A little reception in the beautiful lounge, starting the aperitif with a glass of Champagne (yes, you also drink bubbly in Bordeaux!) made us feel like home. Again, an intimate discussion brought us closer. It is truly enjoyable to spend such relax, cozy time with the hosts who have the gift to turn once strangers into friends.
As hunger showed up, the wooden doors nearby our private dining room opened. The chef, who lives here, has designed a delicious and well-thought pairing menu matching different wines with local fine cuisine (apples and scallops appetizer in this instance). He then showed us around his kitchen and shared how he gets inspirations for the menus.
This relatively modest Chateau by size compared to some other properties is actually home to fantastic wines, superb vats and cellars, several rooms of elegant classic style, a nice fireplace and grand hall that is perfect for large ceremonies, a wine & souvenir boutique, and a very pleasant garden. However cold it was in the middle of that December month, it was only warmth we felt – struggling to say bye bye to Haut-Bailly. Till we meet again…