Flo­rence Bernard

Château Gravas

Bordeaux Wine Trip - - Bordeaux Wine Routes Portrait -

When did you re­alise that wine­mak­ing was for you? It was fate; there was no way we could refuse my fa­ther-in-law’s of­fer to take over the Château Gravas es­tate. This prop­erty in the Sauternes ap­pel­la­tion has been in the fam­ily for five gen­er­a­tions… and yet, when I was younger I had a de­sire to travel, so I stud­ied in­ter­na­tional com­merce. My love for the vine and this op­por­tu­nity won me over in the end. Find­ing my­self alone among the na­ture, feel­ing the first aus­pices of spring and smelling the vines in bloom are the sort of thing that make ev­ery day a joy here.

You fa­mously con­vey this hap­pi­ness to your vis­i­tors…

When com­ing here, vis­i­tors ap­pre­ci­ate our good hu­mour and our pas- sion. Walk­ing through the vines, I ex­plain the evo­lu­tion of these plants be­fore show­ing them on a screen what daily life is like on our es­tate. Next, I talk them through the process of vini­fi­ca­tion, af­ter which we fin­ish by tast­ing around 4 or 5 dif­fer­ent wines.

What is your at­tach­ment to art?

We or­gan­ise reg­u­lar events to dis­play the work of sculp­tors, painters and mu­si­cians. For seven years now, vis­i­tors have been able to ad­mire a per­ma­nent art ex­hi­bi­tion that dis­plays paint­ings and sculp­tures by the fa­mous con­tem­po­rary artist Paul Flickinger. They are a fire­work of colour and tech­nique. This year, the ex­hi­bi­tion is themed around open­ing up to the world: a no­tion that unites us all.

Lo­cated in the midst of the Sauternes Grands Crus Classés, Château Gravas is a fam­ily-owned prop­erty that has been run by Flo­rence Bernard and her hus­band Michel for al­most twenty years. The cou­ple share their pas­sion for wine and art with their vis­i­tors all year round.

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