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Exploring a new frontier

epicure 1 April 2011

It’s a label that needs no introduction but Château Margaux isn’t resting on its golden laurels. As the first First Growth estate from Bordeaux to set up an office in Asia, it’s showing its commitment to building a firm relationship with wine lovers in the region, especially China. first

With Château Margaux enjoying such an entrenched status, it is hard to believe that in the 60s to mid 70s, the estate, one of the four classified First Growths of Bordeaux, was struggling to find its feet under the Ginestet family, who purchased the property in 1949. “There was a spate of bad vintages, such as ‘69, ‘72, ‘73 and ‘74,” recalls general director, Paul Pontallier. “And Bordeaux had a limited market confined to European countries, such as England, Germany and Switzerland.”

In 1977, Greek businessman André Mentzelopoulos purchased the estate, and, after his death in 1980, his daughter, Corinne, took over the family business. By then, Château Margaux was making a recovery: renowned wine consultant Émile Peynaud had been hired to bring order to the viticulture doldrums, vines had been replanted and a new underground cellar had been built. Three years later, Paul joined the team, at the age of 27, to replace the retiring estate director, Philippe Barré.

Excerpt from the April issue of epicure

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