The prestigious Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion, the only château and winery located within the city of Bordeaux itself, is on the verge of constructing a new wine storehouse with the help of renowned designer Philippe Starck and architect Luc Arsène-Henry.
The two artists designed a 2,000 square meter structure that calls to mind the hull of an overturned ship. The design emphasizes “technical and raw” materials such as reinforced concrete, glass and metal.
“It was necessary to provide Les Carmes Haut-Brion with new equipments to receive and shape the future vintages in the best conditions, and therefore be up to the prestigious vineyard of Pessac Leognan. A new page opens here, this unique work will anchor in the 21st century the history of Les Carmes Haut-Brion, the only château with an address in Bordeaux ,” stated Patrice Pichet, CEO of Groupe Pichet and owner of the estate.
Construction has just begun on the new multi-purpose storehouse, which will include four levels, each with a specific purpose, from an underground cellar — located underneath a pond so as to preserve the ideal and constant temperature for wine conservation — to a tasting room. There will also be a terrace with a panoramic view over the property.
A winery with the Péssac-Léognan appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), the Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion cultivates Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.
Not the first of its kind, the tie-up reflects an overall trend seen in recent years, as châteaux owners seek to renew their facilities to appeal to growing demand for wine tourism. Noted French architect Jean Nouvel, for example, recently lent his expertise to the renovations at the Château La Dominique (Saint-Emilion) and the Château La Coste (Provence).
The new cellar will open in 2015.
The groundbreaking event, from Left to right : Guillaume Pouthier, Director at Château Les Carmes Haut- Brion, Marie Recalde, Jean-Jacques Benoît, Diane Pichet, Philippe Starck , Patrice Pichet, Alain Juppé, Amélie Mauresmo, Michel Sainte-Marie, Luc Arsène-Henry