Palmer & you



The life breath of Château Palmer.
Our latest inspirations and creations.
These respirations which drive the estate's beating heart, animating its life and that of its men and women.

« GENIUS LOCI » by François Méchain
Château Palmer will host Genius Loci, an exhibition of emblematic works of art by the French moving sculptor – photographer,

October 2020 - Château Palmer will host Genius Loci, an emblematic exhibition in tribute to the French plastic artist-photographer, François Méchain... In each of the places he worked in over forty-five years - his most intimate territories, his region, numerous foreign countries - this Charente native found the material necessary to imagine complex and unique pieces that he immortalized through his lens. Imbued with strong and committed messages, his sensitive way of approaching our world and the brilliance of its elements echoes the values of Château Palmer.

Sculptor-photographer, but also "journalist, geographer, biologist, historian, amateur sociologist" in his own words, François Méchain was from the start of his career a plastic artist in love with nature and travel, keen to get his viewers to reflect on what they are given to observe. Between 1978 and 1982, he produced Equivalences, a series of poetic and intimate photographs that questioned the powers of image, between illusion and reality. From 1988 to 1989, the nomadic artist modeled the nature surrounding him through enigmatic vegetal sculptures with geometric purity, theatricalized in natural landscapes.

Photographed, these Sculptures-Fictions still confuse reality and its representation. Whilst continuously traveling across vast and distant lands, he created large In-Situ installations, whose photographic prints constitute the ultimate culmination of a process highlighting both environmental concerns and philosophical or political reflections, depending on the context.

Over his forty-five years of creativity, François Méchain never ceased to widen the circle of his interests and his field of action. Firstly, the intimate sphere with Equivalences as its focus, then the spatial circle of Sculptures-Fictions with the landscapes working alongside the studio. Finally, the outer part of the circle through his homes and his overseas orders (Finland, Italy, Canada, Brazil, USA ...), in the context of In-Situ

The exhibition  « Genius Loci » by François Méchain may be seen during estate visits to Château Palmer, from 20th October 2020 to 15th January 2021. Length: 2 ½ hours - 70€ - Reservations by e-mail: chateau-palmer@chateau-palmer.com


*For everyone's safety, wearing a mask is compulsory within the property and the barrier gestures are applied. Depending on the evolution of the health crisis, the program may need to change.


Durban, Chaumont-sur-Loire, 2012 © François Méchain


A decade of inspiring dissent
10 years of pioneering practices, 10 years of kept promises and 10 years of revelations to come...

September 2020 - The future of Château Palmer has been penned out for generations. But the past decade, like the one that is just starting, proves that the lines sometimes move more easily than you might think ...

10 years of pioneering practices

In 2010, Château Palmer embarked on the path of holistic agriculture. The vineyard reinvented itself as a vast ecosystem whose essence, whose true nature, was to be autonomous and well balanced. The vines’ defenses were stimulated, the living energies were channeled. Since then, the grass has grown, flowers and plants with healing properties have blossomed. Biodiversity appeared, agrochemicals disappeared. The wine gained in precision, nobility and brilliance. Palmer was fully converted to biodynamics by 2014.

10 years of kept promises

In 2010, in continuation of the vintages that made it such a legend (1961, 1983, 2005 ...), Palmer opened the decade with a heavenly wine, characterised by its complexity, depth, and bewitching effect on the palate. A wine full of promises, chiseled for ageing, and whose velvet touch resonated over time. More vintages followed on that alternated the unexpected and the sublime, the unclassifiable and the historic, freshness and harmony, in turn validating the new agricultural route: putting a place into a glass.

10 years of revelations to come

In 2010, Château Palmer chose to keep a large part of its bottled production in the property’s historic cellar. While the Primeurs Week, which traditionally takes place in Bordeaux in April, remains the opportunity to present great wines in their prime, in 2020, Palmer inaugurates a new key moment: the second and last sale of a wine that has reached the age of reason, after ten years of meticulous ageing at the Château, now ready to reveal the spectrum of its aromatic nuances.

On Thursday 24th September 2020, it is therefore with an already legendary wine, part of a great vintage for Bordeaux, that this rendez-vous will be inaugurated: Château Palmer 2010.


Photography  ©Yann Rabanier


Find out more :


On the road to kitchen garden autonomy
For several years now, the notions of autonomy, circularity and respect for natural balances have been an integral part of Pa

August 2020 - For several years now, the notions of autonomy, circularity and respect for natural balances have been an integral part of Palmer’s agricultural commitment. This year, with the arrival of our market gardener, the brilliant Viviane, and the ambitious partnership forged with the Conservatoire du Goût de Floirac, the property’s semantic field is, more than ever before, heading in the right direction: during the spring confinement, permaculture and organic micro-market gardening planted their vegetable patch just a stone's throw from the Pereire brothers' château!

Spread over a surface area of ​​nearly 900 m2, tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, peppers and numerous ‘forgotten’ vegetables – regularly up to thirty different varieties, in as many colours and as many formats – find themselves alongside German strawberries, Mexican tomatillos and sweet Jimmy Nardello peppers when it comes to garnishing the table and nourishing the chef’s spirit of adventure and excellence. Veritable treasures grown from seed and carefully cultivated in accordance with the holistic vision that governs the vineyard here: compost, biodynamics, agroforestry, human hands.

Inspired by the principles of permaculture and experimentation at the Bec Hellouin micro farm in the Eure region, Château Palmer’s first year of market gardening advances ambitiously over time thanks to a wide range of possibilities: new varieties of plants, the installation of an open greenhouse, borehole water drip irrigation adapted to each plant, etc. An adventure that is only just beginning, but a vegetable garden which is already asserting itself as a natural and lasting source of exceptional products.


2019, the school of nature
While January was marked by a few days of extreme cold, the rest of the winter proved relatively mild.

May 2020 - While January was marked by a few days of extreme cold, the rest of the winter proved relatively mild. Throughout the season rainfall was moderate but sufficient to partially replenish essential reserves in our soils. The vines’ bud burst began almost a week ahead of schedule, but would progress thereafter in a smooth and even manner. The spring that followed was cool and rainy, requiring a high degree of precision in our management of the vineyard. Despite the capricious weather, flowering unfolded without difficulties, fuelling hopes of a bountiful harvest.

Then, at the end of June, the weather conditions would change radically. A lasting period of hot and dry weather set in. Two heat waves between the 26th and 27th of June and the 22nd and 25th of July were fortunately endured without consequence. The limited summer rainfall – 50 mm between July and August – fostered the accumulation of polyphenols in the berries. The grapes underwent their colour change in excellent conditions and by mid-August the prospect of a fine vintage was clear. We began harvesting the Merlot on the 19th of September amidst weather conditions close to those of summer. The berries were concentrated, aromatic and loaded with sugar. The harvest continued and we entered the autumn under fine, steady rain- fall which lowered the potential alcohol of the Cabernet Sauvignon. By the 11th of October the harvest was complete.

A Palmer wine remains the intimate reflection of a mosaic of terroirs specific to this beautiful estate. But it is also the expression of a unique combination of fleshy Merlots and silky Cabernets, complete with a touch of Petit Verdot. In 2019, the Merlots enjoyed dry and sunny weather conditions up to the very end, giving rise to wines full of power, exuberance and flesh. The Cabernets, harvested after the scattered rains of late September, would develop a certain coolness and reserve, to produce wines of rare distinction. The Petit Verdots, for their part, would exhibit remarkable finesse.

Today, both Château Palmer and Alter Ego express a purity and aromatic clarity rarely seen in an abundant vintage. These wines don’t lie; they are remarkably true to the terroir of Château Palmer. And are already part of the rarefied circle of exceptional vintages.

ARCTIC - photographs by Jean Gaumy
From January 6th through to April 24th 2020, Château Palmer hosts the exhibition “Arctic” by Jean Gaumy ...

From January 6th through to April 24th 2020, Château Palmer will host the exhibition “Arctique” by the photographer, Jean Gaumy. The Frenchman, a member of Magnum Photos and elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 2016, will present a selection of his photographs, taken during his recent scientific assignments to the North Pole. He gives one a unique vision of a fascinating area, well beyond the Arctic Circle, highlighting the same environmental concerns as those of Château Palmer. This exhibition was an obvious choice at the start of a year favourable to research and rich in discoveries.

We already knew about the Aquitaine photographer’s passion for enclosed areas, whether it be that of a hospital, a prison – in 1976, he was the first photojournalist to be permitted into a French prison or nuclear deterrent submarines. Hailed by Raymond Depardon and Marc Riboud, his first reports allowed him to join the agency, Gamma, before integrating Magnum’s team in 1977. Since then, Jean Gaumy has continued to expand the scope of his curiosity and his field of intervention: Iran, Central America, the contaminated territories of Chernobyl and Fukushima, the ocean waves aboard trawler boats, the high cliffs of Normandy…

Doubly rewarded with the Nadar Prize (2002, 2010) and elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France, in 2016, the photographer, on this occasion, roamed across Arctic landscapes shooting sumptuously magnetic compositions of flowing or frozen matter in primitive settings. Beyond his use of loose framing, one can feel his “decisive instinct” and, for a number of years now, his troubled reflection concerning Earth’s fate.

Global warming is three times more perceptible at the poles than on the rest of the planet. Since, 2013, Jean Gaumy has regularly accompanied oceanographers, from the BeBEST/LEMAR laboratory (CNRS, UBO, Natural History Museum), who study the impact of environmental changes on shellfish. He collects real life proof, searches for the mirage of ancient times and immortalises the threatened landscapes. From the Svalbard Archipelago (Norway) to the Daneborg base (Greenland), he voices his desire to “capture the genesis of the world” by pushing the “limits of photography”. The account of this northern immersion, right at the heart of the subject, quite naturally finds its place at Château Palmer, which shares the same desire to promote a territory’s footprint and to defend biodiversity, the same fascination for the “terra incognita” and a sense of adventure as well as the same conviction that art must serve nature.

The exhibition Arctique by Jean Gaumy may be seen during estate visits to Château Palmer, from January 6th through to April 24th 2020. Length: 2 ½ hours - 70€ - Reservations by e-mail: chateau-palmer@chateau-palmer.com

The 2019 Harvest: An Encounter with Théo Ceccaldi
The score for the 2019 vintage is written, the harvest has ended and given way to vinifications.

October 2019 — The score for the 2019 vintage is written, the harvest has ended and given way to vinifications. On the 8th of October, Théo Ceccaldi – who will unveil the new vintage with a jazz concert this spring – came to draw his first inspirations at Château Palmer. With Thomas Duroux as his guide, this day of harvesting and discovery at the estate allowed him to experience the birth of the vintage that he will be interpreting next March.

Afterwards, he shared with us his first impressions.

Listen to Théo Ceccaldi's harvest playlist:


Listen to the playlist



Palmer: You were among the artists invited for the 10th edition of Hear Palmer to accompany Émile Parisien during his concert at Le Rocher de Palmer. But you didn’t have a chance to visit the estate?

Théo Ceccaldi: No, I went directly to Rocher de Palmer for the concert. I’d only come over for the day because I was on tour at the time. So I never had the chance to discover Château Palmer. Here, what’s cool has been having this time to really be steeped in the history of this cuvée. My experience last year was more stressful… For me, this 2019 cuvée is a bit like a rebirth.

P: It sounds like you’re already looking forward to unveiling this 2019 vintage.

T.C.: Absolutely, I think it’s going to be joyous! This music we’ve been creating with my trio Django is like a kind of road we’re building, leading us places that are a bit mysterious, sometimes a bit dark, but always with the same excitement and joy of sharing. There’s something very positive about it, something that sparkles, and I think that fits quite well with all that’s happening here. So I think it’s going to be day that recounts a special story all its own!

P: You were eager to come experience the birth of the 2019 vintage at harvest time. Immersing yourself in a place and a history, is that essential for you when you’re preparing to improvise?

T.C.: Yes, to soak up the ambiance of a place, of a whole team… There is a real spirit shared by people here, a genuine pleasure and passion you feel among those who work for Palmer. And Thomas is a fountain of knowledge; he knows the region and the terroir so well. To discover that the quality of soil can change completely when you move just 1 or 2 metres, from gravel soils, to earthy soils, to much more clayey soils like those found along the river; to learn the differences that that result from this in the vines and the wines; to understand that it’s the oldest vines that create the finest wines; to recognise the differences between the grape varieties; to realise that in one cuvée there are several grape varieties blended together, and how there are different stages of fermentation… All of this is really inspiring.

P: In your eyes, is the link between jazz and wine an obvious one?

T.C.: I was talking with Thomas precisely about that. What I find interesting is how, here too, every year creating wine involves a lot of interpretation and improvisation. Music as I conceive it is nourished by many forms of music and many other influences. In the same way that to successfully blend a wine we must taste and taste and then add more or less on each terroir and each grape variety. It’s a mélange, a mixture, and with music it’s basically the same thing.

And then there’s a second level. There’s also the fact that you must constantly react to the vagaries of weather. One year, you will have a wine with a bit more backbone, and the next you’ll have a more solar wine… You have to know how to manage all this to create something with balance and harmony. You also have to be able to deal with the wider environment. To bring animal life into the equation, and to take into account the entire ecosystem, is to remain attuned to your entourage, which is so essential when performing jazz, this music of constant movement.

It’s all about movement! There is no set recipe, nothing is definitive. We’re constantly seeking ways to renew ourselves, other means of enrichment and improvement. And the music that I love is that which is adventurous, which emerges from a desire to explore new horizons. So all of that speaks to me, these are areas of correspondence, of obvious similarity.

P: How are you preparing for the revelation of this new vintage, and for your role as the chief curator of all the music for this year’s event?

T.C.: I’m so pleased about it! I like to think that it will be something of a made-to-measure evening, conceived especially for this vintage. I don’t yet know what form it will take… Either it will involve the composition of a work in honour of the vintage, or else the reinterpretation of an existing work, dedicated to this vintage. In any case, I love the idea of playing in the cellar, in this vast space surrounded by barrels. It’s going to be special!

The Taste of Harvest
It’s a crucial period of the year in Bordeaux, with harvest season already in full swing at Château Palmer for more than two
October 2019 – It’s a crucial period of the year in Bordeaux, with harvest season already in full swing at Château Palmer for more than two weeks. The grapes that have reached full maturity are being carefully harvested from parcel to parcel. The freshly picked bunches are carried to the sorting table where a team attends to the removal of leaves and damaged berries. In the estate’s vat room, the tanks are filled methodically so that each will contain only a single lot of grapes from a specific parcel.
Next comes the tasting of the juice, which takes place every morning in the tasting area of the vat room. Thomas, the director of the estate, Sabrina, the technical director, Olivier, the cellar master, and Hervé, who runs the analysis laboratory, all come together to taste each of the lots and to lay down the programme of tasks, like remontage or pumping over the must, for the following day.
At this stage, certain musts still have sugars remaining, while others, notably from the first parcels harvested, have finished their alcoholic fermentation. The tasters concentrate on their texture, their tannic structure, and their acidity, to guide them in setting the rhythm and volume of pump-overs for all the vats.
This morning tasting is a decisive moment, when choices made in managing a vinification will contribute to shape the new vintage. It’s an exercise which requires an acute knowledge of Château Palmer’s vineyards, to be able to make decisions that will allow this 2019 vintage to fully express all the richness, nuance, complexity, and beauty of our terroir.