To lease or not to lease (a vineyard in Bordeaux)
Following on from our video round-up featuring Château Bauduc’s 2009 Bordeaux Blanc, the embedded video below is a glimpse of the vineyard used to make this wine. Had winemaker Gavin Quinney not decided to lease this neighbouring vineyard, there simply wouldn’t be a Bordeaux Blanc from Bauduc for the ’09 vintage, as two hailstorms tore through his own vines in May of last year causing unimaginable damage to the crop.
Bearing in mind this is a wine that has been the house white of Gordon Ramsay and a ‘special selection’ at Rick Stein’s since its first vintage in 2000, a sound solution had to be found quickly. Sourcing grapes from contractors to make up the shortfall simply wasn’t an option due to appellation laws, as Gavin explains:
We don’t make expensive Grand Cru Classé stuff from hallowed turf. However, this being a ‘Château’ and this being France with Appellation Contôlée rules and all that, means that we actually have to find growers who are prepared to sell (not an option for us) or lease their vineyards, for us to be able to include the grapes in the wines of Château Bauduc.
In the end, Bauduc took out a renewable 6-year lease on the vineyards shown in the video back in July 2009. There is a clause that allows either side to cancel at the start of each year, just in case.
Gavin made it very clear from the start that if the resulting wine didn’t stand up to previous vintages, it wouldn’t make the Bauduc label, so we’re over the moon that it has passed the Château’s quality control. It has certainly passed our quality control with flying colours.