Château Haut-BergeyHistory, savoir-faire, passion & nature

Anna Caidan meets Paul Garcin, Director at Château Haut-Bergey
Wine Story

What could you tell me about the history of Château Haut-Bergey?

‘Château Haut-Bergey is a domaine which was created around the 15th century, and slowly made more and more wine, and then stopped around the 18th century, starting again in the 19th. Since 30 years now, it has grown a little. In the beginning it was only 18 hectares, now it is forty-four hectares. It has changed a lot, with a desire for quality, so now we are trying to work the best way we can, in biodynamic farming.’

What is your favourite step in the winemaking process?

‘There are many moments which are really interesting. The first moment for me is the spring, when the first leaves comes up. The second moment is the harvest. That’s really interesting because you start to feel what the fruit is like. After the vinification it is really exciting to see the transformation- in French we say “cahot”. This transformation in the fermentation is really something special, it’s a rebirth! And then the blending is really interesting, and just the understanding of each plot and what it can give.’

What is the secret to making Château Haut-Bergey wines?

‘Well each year is even more interesting, because I am discovering more and more the good things about working in a biodynamic way.’

…and your most challenging?

‘I am really thinking of doing a lot of little cuvées which comes from parcels of land and make wines that we really want to share with our customers.’

When is the best moment to drink your wines?

‘The moment you are thirsty!’

What type of food pairs best with your wines?

‘Well it depends as we have different cuvées; with the Château Haut-Bergey Blanc I think the best food is either chicken, or fish, not seafood; it is not interesting with our whites. For the red cuvée Paul, this is made without any oak and really stays on the fruit, so it will go well with starters, a bit of ham or things you can pick and share with friends. Château Haut-Bergey (Red) I like it with meat, but because meats are a bit fatty usually, so what I like of Château Haut-Bergey now, is that we really want the wine to be vertical, with a lot of freshness, so it gives the great aromas of red and black fruits, that gives a balance to the fat of the meat, that’s why I like it. The last Château we work on is Château Branon, you can have lots of different food with it, but it’s for the end of the main course, this moment when you start to be calm and your stomach is full, you just drink this wine made from 70 year-old vines, and it gives a lot of flavour’.

How would you describe the Bordeaux way of life?

‘There are many Bordeaux ways of life. For me there are three really interesting points: the first one is being in and around the vines. It’s really interesting because, particularly here at Château Haut-Bergey, we just live with nature, so there are sheep and bees, and life all around, with the flowering coming out during spring, life is coming back. Every moment of the year is interesting. The second point is the Bassin d’Arcachon. It is only 40 minutes away from here, but it seems as if you drive 10,000 kilometres away. And the third is Bordeaux the city, which has been reborn 5 or 6 years ago. There are a lot of wonderful bars and wonderful restaurants, nice little streets and you have great moments around the river. Those for me are the three main things.’

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