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Palmer & you

The Tasting Room

CHÂTEAU PALMER & ITS ALTER EGO

Château Palmer’s wines. Its words. Different expressions of a single terroir, born of a common philosophy. Homages to a natural environment and to the traditions of an estate, over time they begin to resonate. Not with power, but with finesse, with elegance. With age, grand crus, the words of Château Palmer, take on ever greater meaning.

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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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EXHIBITION
LA TERRE DES PAYSANS
“My parents knew before I did that I would never take over the farm, they were overwhelmed by my determination and my passion for photography.” Raymond Depardon. Raymond Depardon was born in France in 1942. Son of farmers, he spent his childhood on the family farm in Garet,...
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HEADLINES

An Animal Story

Day after day, the men and women of Château Palmer listen to their terroir, work the soil, care for the grapevines, and,...

November 2018 – Day after day, the men and women of Château Palmer listen to their terroir, work the soil, care for the grapevines, and age their wine, ever working to see the estate flourish. And today, they can count on a few extra workmates… cows, sheep and goats (overseen by our shepherdess and cowherd, Emilie and Pierre) who contribute in equal measure to the health and resilience of the vineyards.

Bit by bit, the estate has recentered itself around cultivating life in its myriad forms. A self-sufficient farm, whose production of riches depends on the organisms of which it is comprised: the vine, the plants, the hedges, the fruit trees, the wildflowers, the animals, the insects… in sum, a virtuous circle.

Our Bordelaise cows have been among our leading actors within this agricultural organism. They graze our meadows, and enable us to produce a rich, high quality, ‘homemade’ compost, thanks to the manure they produce which is mixed with mulched vine shoots and green waste from the garden. It’s thanks to them that we can create our own biodynamic preparations as well, such as the 500. This enriches the soil with beneficial microorganisms that help nourish the vines. Today, our herd includes a dozen cattle, though it has grown since last month with the birth of three calves – Orlaya, Ombelle and Orchidée.

With the help of two shepherds, the winter maintenance of the vineyards is undertaken by a herd of more than a hundred sheep. From November to March, they roam the parcels, graze on the tender grass around the vine trunks, while fertilising the soil along the way, and heeding the sharp commands of our sheep dogs, Ben and Hip-hop. The rest of the year, Pyrénées goats will come and take over for our Landaise sheep, notably to maintain the edges of the vine parcels.

The development of these herds of cattle, sheep and goats has been carried out in close collaboration with the Conservatoire des Races d’Aquitaine, which works for the preservation of livestock breeds. It’s a project in spirit with this place and this era, as it involves working with local heritage breeds adapted perfectly to the estate and the environment, and is way for us to help ensure the survival of these breeds in danger of extinction. It must be said, Château Palmer is in good hands – and in good hooves!
 

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Behind the Scenes
The Alchemy of Wine

In the winery, the apple makes milk… “The transformation of ordinary reality into a miraculous, poetic fiction.” Such is the definition of alchemy in literature.

In the winery, the apple makes milk…
“The transformation of ordinary reality into a miraculous, poetic fiction.” Such is the definition of alchemy in literature. And what if it applied to viticulture? In the Château Palmer winery, after harvest, sorting and pressing is done, the juice, skins and pips begin their fermentations. Plural, because for the fruit of the vine, the fermentation process is twofold: first it’s alcoholic fermentation, when the natural sugars become alcohol; then comes malolactic fermentation, when the malic acid is converted into lactic acid. This essentially deacidifies the wine, and it’s all completely natural, or nearly so… A human hand simply encourages the process, by placing the barrels in a stable atmosphere at 21°C and plugging them with special glass stoppers which allow the gas produced to escape. And thus the malum is transformed into lactis – the “apple” becomes “milk”. A lovely bit of wordplay, which describes a small miracle indeed.

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“Palmer is a well-known Château
One of the greatest in Bordeaux
Once it touches your lips
Your lips will write quips
And you’ll want to go to Margaux!”

Tom Black, Entrepreneur - Wine collector, Los Angeles