Today we make the last visit to the vines before Christmas. We're stopping by Bordeaux to find out how our favourite Bordelais winemakers celebrate Christmas. There's oysters, apple pie and a lovely tradition with the company that makes the barrels Chateau Hautes Segottes is aged in.
In the Courselle 's family, we eat all together on December 24th for dinner. We're going to the church (those who want...!) by 7:00 am, and we can celebrate Christmas after. There are always Oysters from Bassin d'Arcachon to start the dinner, with Thieuley dry White
of course! The main plate changes all the time, and it depends on our mother's mood. My mother is a great chef, and she loves cooking. Most of the time we eat some game (that Francis Courselle hunted) with ceps (mushrooms) with a matured Bordeaux, I mean a 20 years old Thieuley Réserve Francis Courselle
, the match is perfect. Our grandmother, who is 94, always makes the traditional "Bûche de Noel" (chocolate cake typical for Christmas). We love this time all the more since we (Marie and Sylvie) have kids. It is a magical time!
Sylvie Courselle, Chateau Thieuley
Chateau Sainte Marie
Marie and Sylvie Courselle of Chateau Thieuley
We always have a Christmas lunch with family and staff, Laurence and Stéphane’s mother will cook for everyone, it starts with oysters from Arcachon with Château Sainte Marie Entre Deux Mers Vieilles Vignes
, continues with Gratton Bordelais and our Cuvee Alios
, and carries on with an old fashion poule au pot with Château Sainte Marie Bordeaux Supérieur Vieilles Vignes. Then there’s cheese (comté) with our Cuvée Madlys and apple pie with our Château Peyredeon Lagravette Haut Médoc. Stéphane, our owner, normally makes his speech about how the year and how harvest went on, his dad will remind us about old years, Stéphane will congratulate and thank everyone, and everything will end up with jokes, music and stories.
Catherine Dumousseaud, Chateau Sainte Marie
Chateau Hautes Segottes
Gareth Keogh and Stephane Dupuch of Chateau Sainte Marie
We don’t do typical traditions, but these days, we organise the week before Christmas with our cooper Darnajou to do a blind tasting of the vintage in barrel. Because this cooper is unique: each employee makes a barrel in full that’s significate each barrel is unique too and with flavours totally different. That’s why when ordering the barrel at the beginning of the ageing we take some barrels of the employees. And at the end of the ageing near Christmas’ time, we organise a blind tasting with one barrel of each employee on the same lot to identify it. It’s very interesting for us but of course for the employees of the cooper company because they show their work.
Usually, we eat some wild meat (like boar or venison) because with old vintage the match is perfect. Of course, we open Haut Segottes wine in a big bottle
to share it in old vintage; it’s better.
Florent Calder, Chateau Hautes Segottes
Gareth Keogh with Danielle Meunier of Chateau Hautes Segottes