Files "Harvest 2008 - Dry whites"
Paulin Calvet, the owner of Chateau Picque Caillou in Pessac Leognan, began his Sauvignon Blanc harvest on September 8th. At the same time he was sending a sample of the Semillon to the lab...
In order to set the picking date, a random sample of several hundred grapes are chosen. Notice that the vineyard worker is careful to NOT look at the grapes he's selecting. Our eyes are involuntarily drawn to the prettiest grapes, so it's key to avoid visual contact.
Chateau Picque Caillou is owned by Paulin and Isabelle Calvet, and it's been in Isabelle's family since 1949. Prior to devoting his energy to running Picque Caillou full-time, Paulin worked the export market for the venerable J.P. Moueix wine merchants in Libourne.
The estate is interesting on several levels.
First, the improved quality of the wine since Paulin took over full-time. Serious investments over the last 10 years has brought the chateau to a level that allows him to compete with the classifed growths. He has 20 hectares of vineyards, with just 1.1 hectares for white wine making. Wine guru Denis Dubourdieu is his consultant.
Second, its location in Pessac Leognan in the Graves region. "Caillou" means pebble, and this estate has a healthy dose of gravel and sand in its well-drained soil. It's a stone's throw from Haut Brion and Pape Clement.
Third, its location - again. Along with Haut Brion and Pape Clement, it's one of handful of wine estates still in the city limits and as such it has a key role in preserving the unique urban lifestyle found in Bordeaux. A public jogging path cuts past its vineyards and through the forest behind its cellars. A bike path follows the freshly paved thoroughfare that bisects the vineyards and connects the city to the highway.
We've got our own brand of bling in Bordeaux. Often we concentrate on the flashy names and forget the smaller gems right in front of our eyes.
Director of Photography - Philippe SIMON & Frederic LOT
Postproduction - Frederic LOT
Correspondent & Writer - Suzanne MUSTACICH