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Assemble his 1st Grand Cru Sauternes class!

Château de Rayne-Vigneau is a place full of surprises! As I told you in my previous post, the area offers the possibility to taste her sweet nectar ranked at the top of a tree… But that’s not all, I had a great chance to test a workshop, which is unique in France also preview: the Assembly of Sauternes workshop!

Les_itineraires_de_charlotte_assemblage_rayne_vigneauchateau Rayne Vigneau (60)

Assembly workshops, there are a few in Bordeaux, only made from black and red varieties and so red wine.

But in fact, an Assembly workshop, what is?

For starters, consider the specificity of the wines of Bordeaux, it is to produce wines of Assembly. And Yes, the complexity of our wines, we owe it to this very tedious work that is to assemble (mix if you prefer) different varieties of different plots and thus to produce balanced, large, elegant, often powerful and guard wines.

Reminder about the definition of a grape variety for not too much you lose! The grape is the type of grape, its variety. When you buy grapes to market, you taste a few berries to choose what you like the most on the palate: sweet, more acidic, juicy… and well, in the same way, the winemaker will pick its grapes according to the wine it wants to produce, but also and above all based on the ground that he has. Each grape variety is fine more or less thrive in function of the soil and subsoil.

The climate will also have a significant impact on the development of the grape. For example, a wine produced at base of Petit Verdot (we will return to the different Bordeaux grape varieties just after) will absolutely not have the same taste nor the structure if it is produced here in Bordeaux, or in Argentina for example (wink to Thibault with whom I shared a bottle of 100% Petit Verdot product in Argentina at the Wine Bar line red Bordeaux a very big discovery!).

In short, if you want to be in an AOC (or protected) / AOC or PDO, you must of course be located at such and such a place, meet a specification (very heavy in France, which explains the quality of our wines but also the price difference with some wines from the new world, but that’s another debate that we will address later!) and cultivating the grape varieties allowed in your area. In Bordeaux you have the right to 6 varieties in red and 5 white:

For the Red:

  • Merlot (it is the most common grape in Bordeaux)
  • Cabernet-Sauvignon (very present in the Médoc and Graves)
  • Cabernet-Franc (very represented on the right bank in the St.-Emilionnais)
  • Malbec (this more and more, it is a hard working vine, the Appellation on the sides of town made its brand thanks to its very spicy side)
  • Petit Verdot (used mainly in the Médoc)
  • Carmenere (very rare in Bordeaux)

For whites:

  • Sauvignon (white or grey)
  • Semillon 
  • Muscadelle
  • White Ugni (it is really used in the Bordeaux region, is a variety that is used mainly for the production of Cognac)
  • Colombard (little used, it is found mainly in Charente!)

So much for the basics!

Now back to the Assembly of the Château de Rayne-Vigneau workshop! It will be available starting on July 1 (2016). Then fast fast reserved its place because this workshop is simply fabulous!

Already it is much more accessible that an Assembly workshop made from red wine. Why? Simply because the red wine, young and in mono varietal is very difficult to try for the uninitiated. So that the Sauternes, it is already sweet and so very nice in the mouth!

The Castle team has prepared his workshop in his large living room and it looks nice! (it starts so well!)


We are thus equipped with funnels, a calculator, a book of notes, stemware, small verrines… In short, the total!


I’m not spoiling too much so that you have some surprises…

Vincent Labergère, Director of the Castle, talks of Sauternes and its specificities, Castle Rayne – Vigneau in particular and we did play to the nose of the wine! I LOVE! (mostly because I’m pretty good at this game! ahaha) The interest is of course that he offers to us than present aromas in wines of Rayne-Vigneau!

Then, having already learned many things, he offered a workshop that I never had and I recommend you urgently to progress significantly in tasting: the different structures of the wine tasting! This is the first time that I could feel in the mouth in a very precise way how the different structures of the wine is located on my tongue, my gums… incredible sensations (sometimes a bit rude! Personally I do not like the bitterness! That explains my total disgust for coffee! ahaha).

I don’t say you no more on this passage to avoid spoiling too much and let you look at your participation!

Photo credit: the life of a curious

Photo credit: the life of a curious

And then it went to taste the different batches of wine. You can not taste of the varietal, we taste lots of wine from different parcels and harvest at different times. This is exactly the role of the master of the oenologist and Winery (in real life!)

I teamed up with my girlfriend of Pixels & wine blogger… It quickly realized that our taste in Sauternes are the opposite! I love the sugar and acidity, she loves the bitterness and don’t appreciate particularly when sugar is too far… Not so obvious at the time to compose our own Assembly to agree!

But against the odds, and especially thanks to the advice of Vincent Labergère, we did something very nice and has a lot more to the rest of the team! Great class!


I will not give you our Assembly, but if you do the workshop, send me a message with your, I will send you mine! ([email protected])

To top it off, after 2 h – 2 h 30 workshop really fascinating, you will have the chance to walk away with your bottle of Grand Cru class of Sauternes 1 assembled by your hands! Then, we are tempted?

As I said above, the workshop will be available from July 1, 2016, upon reservation and € 79 per person!

Don’t wait any longer! contact mercy to the castle of Rayne – Vigneau, and book your workshop by email: [email protected] or telephone: + 33 (0) 5 6 56 76 64 05 or + 33 (0) 6 85 94 15 89


Photo credit: Castle of Rayne-Vigneau

Read the articles in my bloggers P girlfriends ‘ pals, Pixels & Wines and the life of a curious tea!


21 & 22 may 2016

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