Amphora wine: back to the future

Bordeaux producer, Château Grand Français, is introducing a cellar entirely devoted to making wine in amphora jars with the first wine, a Cabernet Franc, available to taste at Vinexpo.

The award winning property is already well regarded for its organic wine production and now wants to take its winemaking back in time to make use of this ancient and traditional way of fermenting, storing and ageing wine in clay amphora pots.

Producers across Europe are increasingly turning to using amphora in their cellars as they see it as a more controlled way of protecting their grapes, but with a vessel that also allows for a smooth passing of some oxygen into the amphora pot in a way that is not possible when using stainless steel tanks or wooden barrels.

Château Grand Français wanted to mark the first wine made in this way by using one of the region’s oldest local varieties, Cabernet Franc. The first cuvée also comes from the four hectares of extra vines that have been planted at the property.

To help really bring the new wine and concept to life the Château Grand Français team decided to give the wine its own Number, No, like how an artist might name a picture or piece of art.

It also created an online competition to ask wine lovers and designers to come forward with their own designs to help create a bespoke label for this new wine. The competition resulted in dozens of entries, the best of which were then put to an online vote where people could choose their favourite.

Château Grand Français commitment to environmental winemaking was recognised at the inaugural ceremony of the Bordeaux Vineyards Engaged Trophies held in April. This new event has been set up by the Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine (CIVB) and French magazine, Terre de Vins, in order to recognise and promote those producers that are taking steps to protect the environment.

Hall 1 / Stand W353