Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in the Graves is to open a new €3m winery intended specifically for the second wine Les Hauts de Smith.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
The new buildings, which so far have been costed at €3m, will have capacity for 1200 hectolitres across 15 vinification vats, plus 10 vats for blending.
The winery will be self-sufficient in energy, using wood from the estate’s 60ha of forest for fuel, and with a subterranean barrel cellar to ensure natural temperature control.
The architect for the project is Jean-Bernard Nadau, a specialist in landscape design and eco-architecture who has previously worked on the High Bridge Cultural Park in New York, and on the sculpture garden at Smith Haut Lafitte.
‘We also intend to be carbon neutral,’ owner Daniel Cathiard told Decanter.com, ‘offsetting our emissions and ensuring we are capturing and controlling carbon dioxide produced during fermentation.’
Technical director Fabien Teitgen said a separate winery would allow more precise work with Les Hauts de Smith by increasing the number of tanks, and decreasing their size, allowing the same plot-by-plot work as the first wine receives. ‘Both wines have their own distinct identity – this will allow us to respect and develop that.’
The winery will be ready to vinify the 2012 vintage this September, and fully open in Spring 2013.
Written by Jane Anson