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Former La Riviere owners to buy classified St Emilion estate.

A year since the helicopter crash that killed James Gregoire of Chateau de La Riviere, his family have honoured one of his final wishes by agreeing to acquire Chateau Ripeau in St Emilion. The Gregoires have provisionally agreed to buy the 37-hectare, classified estate for an undisclosed fee. They are expected to sign the final sale documents on 12 January. Brothers Cyrille and Nicolas Gregoire have been working alongside current Ripeau owners Barbara Janoueix Coutel and Louis de Wilde since early December, helping with the blending of the 2014 vintage. Nicolas Gregoire confirmed to Decanter.com that his father James had been interested in acquiring a classified St Emilion property in the months before his death.

For December month we are offering holiday makers intimate experiences of the unique Constantia Valley wine route. This will include meeting their lively key personalities! The duration will be a minimum of five hours and could include the whole day. The time will fly past, as you meet a winemaker, enjoy a personal vineyard walk with experts, drive around the land in farm vehicles, all helping you to learn and understand the uniqueness of these very special sites. This will be followed up with a private tutored wine tasting, before heading to the next inside-track vineyard experience. The friendly resident expert wine adventure guide will provide context, history and current status quo, delivered with humour, passion and anecdotes. Finish off with a stylish fine dining lunch or dinner at ‘top 5’ restaurant. Book now.

Haut-Brion history dates back 500 years, new research shows.

New research has uncovered the oldest known mention of Chateau Haut-Brion dating back to the beginning of the 1500s, 139 years earlier than previously thought. Following a competition launched by owner Prince Robert of Luxembourg, a medieval history researcher in Bordeaux found a written mention of Haut-Brion dated 21 January 1521. That indicates the Graves first growth estate’s wines have been highly prized for around 500 years.
The document, found by art historian Laurent Chavier, is the sale of an annuity worth 400 Bordeaux francs, the equivalent today of around €50,000. It is drafted in French – rather than Gascon – by Maitre Hamelin Gemisson. The borrower, Jean de Monque, promises to deliver each year ‘four pipes of wine from the vineyard of Aubrion’, as part of repayment.