East of Libourne
By Jane Anson
This Guide was last updated on 14 May 2010
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After three years of works, AXA Millesimes opened the sleek new winery and visitor centre at the 11ha Château Petit Village in February 2008. A welcome addition to Pomerol, where there are few truly visitor-centered properties, the new cellars contain sleek black tanks all made from cement (increasingly cement tanks are seeing a return to popularity in Bordeaux, after years when they were taken out to make way for stainless steel). Of course, this being Petit Village, they look more like art installations than vinification equipment. There is extensive use of techniques such as gravity systems, peristaltic pumps, open tank manual pigeage , all aimed at ensuring a far gentler handing than normal of the grapes. The architect was Alain Triaud, who also worked on the new underground cellars at Pichon Baron in Pauillac (opened March 2008). Alongside the cellars is a very welcoming boutique, selling the estate's wines (Petit Village plus second wine Les Jardins de Petit Village), plus wine accessories. There is also a tasting room upstairs with views over the vineyards and châteaux such as La Conseillante next door.
Useful information: €3 per person for visit and tasting. Groups welcome (10 - 25 people). Visits in French and English. Open Monday to Friday by appointment if possible, weekends always by appointment, throughout the year. Visit lasts an hour with tasting of both first and second wine.
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