The Wine Siren by Kelly Mitchell

Chateau Pape Clement: Bordeaux & It’s Oldest Grand Crus!

Chateau Pape Clement is rich in the history of Bordeaux and the history of France. But could they be one of the oldest Cru?

Chateau Pape Clement is indeed one of the oldest grand crus in Bordeaux, located on one of the most beautiful estates in Bordeaux.

Revered as one of the oldest Grand Cru in Bordeaux, Chateau Pape Clement made its mark in the history books on several occasions. Located in the Pessac region about outside of Bordeaux, Pape Clement has a long history of wine growing and direct ties to a Pope. In 1254, the first vines were planted.  Since then the Chateau has experienced well over 700 harvests.  It is rooted in tradition and very much the fabric of Bordeaux. 

This illustrious Château and castle’s owner was Raymond Bertrand de Got. Voted in by the cardinals he would become Clement V in 1305. In 1306 he choose his papal residence in Avignon and gifted his Chateau to his brother.

Golden Chandeliers shaped like crowns line the ceiling of the barrel room e
Golden Chandeliers shaped like crowns line the ceiling of the barrel room at Pape Clement

Château Pape Clement sits on 60 hectares of vine and is one of 16 Grand Cru Classes in the Graves region. It’s also part of the Pessac-Léognan Appellation created in 1987. It has been in the capable hands of Bernard Magrez since the 1980’s.

This is luxury in it’s prime. Elegant, historic abode in a world-class destination Pape Clement is luxury at its finest. The service and appointments are first class. It houses five stunning suites. There is an ever so slight nuance of sandalwood that follows you through the castle. Inside there are writings from popes careful contained. Art lines the walls in every room. From modern pieces to historical pieces, the history of this Chateau is everywhere. The winery is next to landscaped gardens and you may even see their draft horses working the land.

The Chateau from the front. Stunning green grounds and a freedom tree.
The Chateau from the front. Stunning green grounds and a freedom tree.

A chapel holds bottles of wine aging undisturbed in peace underneath the Chateau. This private viewing area is a treasure trove of magnificent bottles long hidden away. All guests have access to a rooftop viewing deck with sweeping views of the vineyards and sunrise. Not to mention the outstanding breakfasts fit for a king or a pope.

Liquid gold. Sauternes by Bernard Magrez and it looks like real gold.
Sauternes that swept my off my feet.

I was on the heels of En Primeur 2018 when I entered Pape Clement for my weekend visit. En Primeur is a wine event devoted to the early release of wines recently bottled. In this case the 2018 vintage. This is an opportunity for those in the wine trade to taste vintage well before release.

One of the experiences offered here is a tasting & tour of the winery and the grounds. The walking tour includes several highlights of its history and a tour of Pape Clement’s winery. Our guide was not only well versed in the history of this magnificent estate but entertaining as well. The tour segued directly into the tasting experience.

The tasting experience was a unique one. The first part of the tasting at Pape Clement is pretty standard.  You sip a few whites, reds and perhaps a rosé. Listen to the tasting guide share notes and ask questions of the group.  The second part was a game-changer. Black glasses placed before us, this was going to be a blind tasting. Not only that but with music. It was a true sensory experience. The results? Surprising! Four different types of music and each with a different impact on the tasting. A profound impact. Kudos Pape Clement!

A peek at the oh so ancient vineyard of Pape Clement

As the experience wrapped up, I was almost reluctant to go. But then I remembered I was in a stunning suite on the property and happy to get back to my temporary home.

Want to visit more Chateau in Bordeaux?

If you would like to visit extraordinary, world-class destinations like Pape Clement contact Wine Paths Travel

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