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Palmer & you

The Estate

Heritage

A history. Château Palmer's is a tale of the spirit, recounted in the lives of the Major General Palmer, the Pereire brothers, and continuing today through generations of the Mähler-Besse and Sichel families. Profiles in passion...
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The Tasting Room
Wine Library
The complexity of a terroir, the devotion of those who care for it, all to create wines of focus, balance, length and silk. A signature.
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Between The Rows
The Bras spirit
Aubrac, in the northern reaches of the Aveyron region: a mountain plateau, made of volcanic and granitic rock… a land of inspiration. It’s here, in the middle of a rich natural environment – their platform for creation – that Michel and Sébastien Bras cook and cultivate with passion this...
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HEADLINES

In the Heart of Winter
 

In recent days, as a cold snap has swept across France, a delicate layer of ice has begun to cover the vineyards...

January 2017 – In recent days, as a cold snap has swept across France, a delicate layer of ice has begun to cover the vineyards of Château Palmer. A white frost.
 Surrounded by this silent nature, the vignerons have begun pruning the vines and carrying out an ensemble of winter duties; tasks with names like sécaillage, acanage and pliage.
 
Sécaillage, for example, refers to the upkeep of vine trellising, and consists of replacing broken stakes and repairing and retightening the guide wires which will support the vine in the year to come.
 
Acanage, or training, involves tying each vine trunk to its marker (a small stake) and the guide wire. This practice stabilizes the vines before the soil is worked. To provide the vine sufficient support it will need to be secured in three places: first around the trunk and then around each of its two branches. This winter task generally starts one or two weeks after the beginning of pruning. This year, we began training in mid-December.
At Château Palmer, the vines are trained using willow stems – sometimes called “withes” in English, or vimes in French – an ancestral method never abandoned here. The bond it creates is at once durable and natural. Depending on weather conditions, a willow knot can last between two and three years. When one eventually gives out, it simply falls to the ground, decomposing naturally in the soil, to be replaced by another.
To tie a willow knot, the vigneron wraps a willow stem around a vine trunk or a branch. Next she or he intertwines the ends of the stem together, and then bends one end of the stem back against the trunk or branch to ensure its hold. The other end of the stem is then clipped off. During the winter season, this series of movements is repeated, swiftly and assuredly, around 200 times a day by a vigneron.
 
Finally, pliage (literally “folding”), consists of bending down and binding to the guide wire each of the future fruiting canes (mature vine shoots selected and kept in place during pruning). The number of canes will depend on the vigour of each vine. At Château Palmer we generally preserve two.
 
So many intricate, meticulous tasks, realized by women and men of such rigour and patience…  it’s thanks to them that, when the frost recedes and spring returns, the vineyards will awaken anew.
 

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ENCOUNTERS

Naresh
Joshi

Ophthalmic Surgeon
Bupa Cromwell Hospital, London, UK
In the UK and across the globe, Naresh Joshi has built a reputation as one of the leading lights of his profession. A success founded on a rich story, dogged perseverance, and deep respect. A personification of so many values held dear at Château Palmer…
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"I feel like we both work with terroir, because both
 the body and the earth have evolved for millions of years."
Naresh Joshi, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Bupa Cromwell Hospital, London, UK