This morning we drove from Bordeaux to an area around Cadillac (sounds like cad e ack – no l sound) know as the Sauternais region which is the only place in the world where Sauterne sweet wines are produced. They are VERY sweet and it was very interesting how they are gown. First we were treated to an exclusive artisanal wine-pairing lunch at Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve which was built by King Henri IV. This Chateau was built as a fortress and during our tour of it, we could see that it was still very usable. The Chateau is still owned by descendants of King Henri and Queen Margot. The Sabran-Ponteves (the Count, Countess and their three children still live there 6 – 8 months of the year. The Count and Countess greeted us at lunch which was a three course meal paired with three different Sauterne wines.
We then drove though the beautiful French countryside to the Chateau Guirand winery which is an estate that uses natural grasses, flowers, bugs, bees and birds to control pests. They use no pesticide and is one of the few organic wineries in France. There we had a tour of the winery and found out a lot of interesting facts about wine making in France. The rules are very strict and they cannot irrigate the vineyards. The Sauterne wines are made from a combination of three different grapes – Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle – which have been affected by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea also known as the Noble Rot.