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Palmer & you

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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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
JEUX D'ÉCRITURE
At Château Palmer, the photographer Bernard Plossu presents his series "Jeux d’écriture". A series of 37 photographs, accompanied by texts drawn from Plossu’s published works. An exhibition organized in partnership with Bordeaux’s arrêt sur l'image galerie.
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HEADLINES

Shear Precision – Pruning

It’s middle of winter, yet there are vignerons and vigneronnes out roaming the frigid vineyards. Step by step...

January 2018 – It’s middle of winter, yet there are vignerons and vigneronnes out roaming the frigid vineyards. Step by step, they pause at each vine to perform what is one of the most delicate tasks in the vineyard, one which will directly influence the next harvest – pruning.

The grapevine is a climbing plant which, much like a bonsai, must constantly be contained. A task of precision and of architecture, wherein every stroke of the pruning shears must land just so if the following year’s production and the vines’ longevity into another century are to be ensured.  

This year, pruning at Château Palmer began on November 30th 2017. The final days of autumn brought heavy rains, making for especially arduous work. The most vigorous Merlot vines are always pruned first, as the grape variety is quite resistant to wood diseases. Then come the Merlot requiring special care, followed at last by the youngest vines. This prioritization pays dividends later, as it helps to harmonise the bud break periods of the vine shoots. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines, more sensitive by comparison, will only be pruned later, at the end of winter.

All the vines, however, are pruned according to the same double Guyot method, in which a vine trunk’s two arms are each left with one long, mature vine shoot called an aste or fruiting cane, and sometimes a cot de retour or renewal spur (a short shoot to be trained as a new fruiting cane in the following season). The method reduces the quantity of grapes on each vine while favouring their quality. An additional pruning method, the Poussard method, is also used to ensure sap flow continues unimpeded over time. When work is done, the vine shoots are collected and shredded for use in producing compost. In this way, the cuttings will nourish the same vines from which they came.

Pruning is a painstaking job, to which the vignerons and vigneronnes must dedicate themselves throughout the winter. But thanks to them, the creation of the next vintage has already begun.

 

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Behind the Scenes
Harvest Diaries

To each château its library. That of Palmer boasts gilded tomes aplenty, but it also holds a collection of simple school notebooks, dating back to 1938…

To each château its library. That of Palmer boasts gilded tomes aplenty, but it also holds a collection of simple school notebooks, dating back to 1938…
Small, spiral-bound, graph-ruled notebooks… entire rows of them. The shelves are lined with harvest diaries. Yet school has been out for years. The harvest diary – the object like the expression – is no more. Today, the spreadsheet is king, used henceforth to archive the data from every harvest. On screen, the facts and figures scroll by – parcel, grape variety, number of mini-vats, must weight, grape temperature and acidity. With Excel, only the data remains. But not on the page. Ink stains and scratched-out mistakes; the florid strokes of writing styles from other eras; accidents and customs from the past punctuate these pages of heritage. Indeed, at an estate devoted to its terroir, sometimes there’s a sense of place to be savoured not only in the wines, but in the writing.
 

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The Estate

IN THE CELLARS

The heart of Château Palmer. Here in the Village, overlooking the great sorting hall, is where every wine is born and matures. In the shadow of stainless-steel vats and wooden barrels, the technical teams work with care and precision to exalt the vineyard while respecting its bounty. It is where innovation meets tradition – and the future wines of Château Palmer come to life.
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Encounters

Duncan
Quinn

Style Maker
New York
He savours, drives, sails, dances, feasts… his style ever impeccable. Duncan Quinn has made l’art de vivre – the art of living – his passion and his profession.
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"Style. Simplicity. Experience. These things are not fashion, but timeless and unique to each person. It’s not unlike Château Palmer. Understanding the modern world while maintaining a standard of excellence. And a unique identity grounded in years of savoir-faire."

Duncan Quinn, Style Maker, New York