Château Lynch Bages proprietor goes an extra mile to enhance the pleasure from his wines.
Lynch Bages winery belongs to the Médoc region in Bordeaux and literally ‘sticks’ to the renowned town Pauillac situated on the left bank of the Gironde estuary.
To be more precise the estate together with a couple of houses and a newly renovated square are actually a village in themselves.So it couldn’t bear a more fitting name than ‘Bages’.
The man behind the fabulous reconstruction of Bages and perhaps a ‘new father’ of this hamlet is Jean-Michel Cazes, the owner of the Château Lynch Bages.
His family owned the prominent Château in Pauillac since 1933 when Jean-Charles Cazes, the grandfather of Jean-Michel, took over the Château Lynch Bages in the height of the 1930s economic crisis. With his assets amassed during a successful career at the AXA insurance group he belonged to a rather prosperous minority in the Pauillac area. The situation was so dire that 15 of the total 18 classified growths in Pauillac changed ownership during the crisis. As is typical for harsh times, they bring loses but also opportunities. Monsieur Cazes was unquestionably one of these who saw new horizons clearly.
The enterprising, innovative and bold temper still circulates in the family blood. Jean-Michel Cazes is a renaissance man who changed Bages into a picturesque village dedicated to wine. Though, he still respects the old, so he left part of the vat room untouched for visitors who can peak at how wine was made over 50 years ago.
Today, you can relish the tastiest Canelé (a typical Bordeaux pastry infused with rum and vanilla – it is a sinful delicious sweet treat) I have tasted in the whole Bordeaux from an excellent bakery (boulangerie) Le Baba d’Andréa. Or savour a glass of excellent Bordeaux with local fare at Café Lavinal where you might find yourself sitting right next to one of the mighty proprietors of the biggest châteaux in Pauillac.
Finally, if you want to learn more about wine Bages is an ideal place to be. You have two options:
The first and the most effective and enjoyable is to take one of the wine courses in the school of the Château Lynch Bages. Their teachers are excellent. I have learned so much there about the basics of wine tasting, the Bordeaux appellations and I also have explored the art of blending so crucial and typical for wines in Bordeaux. There is nothing better than to take wine classes in the heart of its region. Our teacher Charles Thuillier spoke flawless English, was tremendously friendly and not deterred by any of our weird questions.
The second, less intensive but more time flexible alternative is to buy one of the quintessential books from the top wine writers such as Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson or Robert Parker at the Bazaar, an iconic shop for wine enthusiasts. You will find here everything from wines, books, glasses to ‘smell trainers’ perfect for learning the distinguished smells you can find in wines (rather expensive though – for the complete set prepare to ease your pocket of 200 Euro).
Café Lavinal : tel. +33 (0)5 57 75 00 09, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
L’Ecole du Bordeaux wine school: +33 (0)5 56 90 91 92,
Château Lynch Bages for tours and tastings: +33 (0)5 56 73 19 31