Get­ting Per­sonal with Chateau Coutet

Aline Baly Talks Wine, Fam­ily Busi­ness, and Her Heart’s De­light

Upscale Living Magazine - - Contents - | By Tim Cotro­neo

May is a spe­cial month for the Chateau Coutet wine­mak­ing fam­ily based Bordeaux’s sweet wine re­gion of Sauternes. Not only is May marked by the vine­yard’s an­tic­i­pa­tion of flow­ers bloom­ing, it’s also the time of year when Aline Baly flies to Wash­ing­ton D.C. to at­tend the Heart’s De­light Wine Tast­ing & Auc­tion.

For Baly and her fam­ily, par­tic­i­pat­ing in this an­nual four-day cel­e­bra­tion of ex­cep­tional food, wine, and fundrais­ing is not only good for busi­ness, it’s per­sonal. That’s be­cause a Baly fam­ily mem­ber was re­cently stricken with heart dis­ease.

“We’ve been at­tend­ing this Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion ben­e­fit for over a decade. Our par­tic­i­pa­tion evolved into a la­bor of love due to the great friend­ships we’ve de­vel­oped over the years. This year rais­ing money for the pre­ven­tion of heart dis­ease has be­come more per­sonal for Chateau Coutet as we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing first-hand the life-chang­ing re­cov­ery process of a stroke sur­vivor,” Baly said.

Up­scale Liv­ing Mag­a­zine got to­gether with Chateau Coutet’s Owner to dis­cuss what she’ll ex­pe­ri­ence at this year’s Heart’s De­light gath­er­ing of wine and culi­nary greats. Baly also shared the lat­est news about Chateau Coutet’s amaz­ing wines from the vil­lage of Barsac in the re­gion of Sauternes.

How will Chateau Coutet be in­volved in this year’s Heart’s De­light Wine Tast­ing & Auc­tion on May 9-12 in Wash­ing­ton D.C.?

On Thurs­day even­ing at the Wine­maker and Din­ner Se­ries we will be pre­sent­ing both our 1989 and 2009 Chateau Coutet, two epic vin­tages for the golden sweet wines of Bordeaux. We’ll also in­tro­duce a 2014 Dry Opalie de Chateau Coutet, our dry white. On Fri­day we will be do­nat­ing an im­pe­rial of 2014 Chateau Coutet as part of the Vint­ner’s Din­ner and Auc­tion. On Satur­day even­ing we’ll be show­ing both our sweet and dry wines from the 2015 vin­tage in the Bordeaux Master Class & Wine Tast­ing.

What stands out about this par­tic­u­lar event?

My Dad, Do­minique, and I have been at­tend­ing the Heart’s De­light for 12 years. We’ve de­vel­oped busi­ness re­la­tion­ships that have turned into friend­ships. There is such a spirit and gen­uine en­thu­si­asm for wine. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in Heart’s De­light doesn’t feel like work to me.

Look­ing back on 2009, what stands out about your first year work­ing in the fam­ily busi­ness and what you had to learn about the Chateau Coutet line of wines?

(Laugh­ter) First, I should apol­o­gize to ev­ery­one who had to deal with me my first few years on the job. My back­ground was in the bio­science in­dus­try. I had a lot to learn about the most fa­mous sweet wines in the world. The wines from Sauternes and Barsac are Bordeaux’s best-kept se­cret.

Please talk about the re­gion of France in which your wines orig­i­nate?

Our vine­yard is in the south­ern re­gion of Bour­deaux. The Chateaux is a for­mer English mil­i­tary fortress dat­ing back to the 13th cen­tury. In 1787, when Thomas Jef­fer­son was the Am­bas­sador to France, he called our Barsac the coun­try’s best. Our 95 acres are lo­cated in the Garonne Val­ley near the Ciron River in the Sauternes ap­pel­la­tion. Our re­gion is known for its unique cli­mate that is per­fect for grow­ing sweet wines.

How im­por­tant is the weather to your wine de­vel­op­ment process?

We are to­tally ob­sessed with the weather. We talk about it daily. A dra­matic change in weather, such as un­ex­pected frost or hail can be detri­men­tal. A best-case sce­nario for us is an In­dian sum­mer along with a level of hu­mid­ity that is spe­cific to our types of wines.

What do peo­ple find in­ter­est­ing about Chateau Coutet’s his­tory?

There is def­i­nitely a his­tor­i­cal and ar­chi­tec­tural feel to our prop­erty. We used to be a mil­i­tary fortress, then a horse sta­ble, and there was even a time when peacocks were bred. You can still see one of the orig­i­nal wine presses from the 1920s, a 14th Cen­tury chapel, and a Bordeaux cob­ble­stone court­yard.

How many vis­i­tors does Chateau Coutet see an­nu­ally for tours, wine tast­ings, and culi­nary va­ca­tions?

Over the past three years, the south­ern wine mak­ing re­gion of Bour­deaux has re­ally grown as a tourist des­ti­na­tion. Chateau Coutet of­fers pri­vate tours, wine tast­ings, work­shops, lunches, and din­ners.

Which of your wines is cre­at­ing the most buzz?

Our 2014 Chateau Coutet, this sweet wine was ranked third on Wine Spec­ta­tor Mag­a­zine’s Top 100 Wines in 2017. The in­ter­na­tional re­sponse to this news was huge. We sold out. So we are ex­cited that we are able to in­clude an im­pe­rial from our per­sonal cel­lar for Heart’s De­light Fri­day night auc­tion.

What is there one thing you wish you knew when you started with Chateau Coutet that you know now?

It would have been fun to know how much my life was go­ing to change once I joined my un­cle and Dad in the fam­ily busi­ness. This move al­lowed me to dis­cover the world of wine. I also wish I knew sooner how per­fect it is to pair our Sauternes with lob­ster! That’s my fa­vorite.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.