Diary Entry: A soupçon of
In today’s marketplace
Why not install yourself in Relais & Chateaux Chateau de Mirambeau for your own investigation? This remarkable world-class property of only 17 suites is set in a castle constructed on foundations dating to the 11th century, and offers a luxury experience of stellar comfort and exclusivity. The service proposition is high, the restaurant extreme and the location is optimal. All rooms are unique and decorated with classic furnishings and motifs of exceptional elegance. The lofty public spaces radiate the true opulence of the leisure class. Indoor and outdoor pools, private tennis courts and spacious gardens provide opportunities for moments of distraction. A variety of promotions customize visits to any whim: degustation, oenophilia, sport, culture, romance or any combinations of the above, and might include hot air ballooning, golf, live classical music, cognac tastings or medieval ruins.
Chef Frédéric Milan’s adventurous cuisine makes for another unforgettable aspect of your stay. The chateau’s central location means that guests are conveniently close to the finest wineries, including the legendary St. Emilion. When the time comes to drive your rental Renault Megane into the sunset you can count on Mirambeau’s meticulous staff to think of the smallest detail: they bring the car from the parking up to the hotel’s stone courtyard, picnic lunch packed, windshield washed, then stand at the front steps waving a personable goodbye, proof positive that hospitality knows no bounds at this wonderful property.
Less than an hour northeast from Mirambeau lies the
Bring a jacket, then fortify yourself after your tour with a dram of the distillery’s finest. In the surrounding neighborhood you will find a splendor of cognac producers, whose offerings as well are required to be distilled five times.
The medieval city of
Only four chateaux in the region have the designation 1er Grand Cru Classé, and Chateau Belair is perhaps the most impressive to visit.
Situated on a promontory overlooking the lush valley of the Gironde, the chateau’s caves go seven levels below the hill, where limestone was quarried 250 years ago to build the city of
The great winemaker J.J. Nouvel, who ran renowned Chateau Gaillard for a half century, has retired, but his nephew Claude Nouvel carries on the tradition of this respected St. Emilion family with exceptional low production from Chateau Petit Gravet.
The winery and its vines nestle at the base of the hill, just across the road from the southern vineyards of Belair. Nouvel’s wines of superb value are truly outstanding Grand Crus, blended with a passion and understanding that only generations of winemaking can yield. Stock up on as many of the 2002 Marie Louise bottling as you can (€24/bottle until 15 January 2008); these wines cellar well, and will only get better as the years pass. Petit Gravet operates a small retail store at the edge of town, but tours of the modest winery can also be arranged, with barrel tastings by special arrangement.
Authentic treasures like these abound in all of
Château de Mirambeau (a Relais & Chateaux property)
Tel 33 05 46 04 91 20
Tél 33 05 126.96.36.199
Chateau Petit Gravet
2, rue de la Madeleine
Tel 05 57 24 76 45