Of Bordeaux’s major wines, Pomerol is the smallest appellation with just 800 hectares of vines. Pomerol is located to the northeast of the town of Libourne. Merlot, the “king” varietal here, thrives in the gravelly clay soil. Cabernet Franc, the next most important grape, is grown in more clay-rich soils. This would be my first visit to the region and I was well received by the historic Château Beauregard considered “a jewel of Pomerol”!
Back in the 12th century, the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem owned a manor on the château’s current site. The Knights were quite active in the area of Pomerol. Jump forward 5 centuries when the Beauregard family built a new property on the same site. The present-day château dates to the Napoleonic era. The original vineyard dates to approximately the same time period. Needless to say, this is indeed a place where history abounds. During my visit I learned that Beauregard, without touching its classical architecture, is again undergoing changes. Seven bedrooms and three reception rooms have been added. The terrace and the moat- which is filled with water lilies and lotus plants – look out to a 2 acre park. The view is magnificent.
The winery and cellars have also undergone renovations…turning this into a beautiful, modern winery. What surprised me the most were the unique “high-tech”, temperature controlled, concrete vats. They have an external shape that resembles “une goutte de vin” – a drop of wine- like a teardrop. I hadn’t ever seen this shape. They are impressive!
What luck we had when, upon arrival, we were able to watch the beginning process to making wine. The grapes were being hand sorted, de-stemmed, then run through the amazing optic “eye” machine. This machine is able to detect many characteristics of each individual grape, selecting only the absolute best for the “Grand Vin” of the château.
There are three other châteaux connected to Beauregard- Château Pavillon Beauregard located in Néac, in the appellation Lalande de Pomerol, Château Bastor-Lamontagne in Preignac , the Sauternes appellation, and lastly, Château Saint-Robert located in Pujols sur Ciron in the Graves appellation. The Director of day-to-day management of all four vineyards is M Vincent Priou. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Chicago in March. He has been in his current role for 25 years! Another time I will make it to the other vineyards. I loved the estate and it’s beauty…the wines and their structure and finesse. Santé!