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Cheval Blanc and Clerc Milon unveil new green wineries

Two major new building works - at Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Clerc Milon – claim to have state-of-the-art environmental credentials.

Clerc Milon: Ipé wood facade, and new label

Chateau owners often unveil new works during Vinexpo, and this year’s crop reflect the increasingly high profile status of environmental concerns.

The new €13m winery buildings at Cheval Blanc, and Clerc Milon, are certified High Environmental Quality (HQE), and both are entirely gravity-led. Both were unveiled last week at Vinexpo in Bordeaux.

Architect Bernard Mazières at Mouton-owned Clerc Milon has created a new winery where 300 square metres of solar panels produce electricity for 100% of the energy needs.

At Cheval Blanc, architect Christian de Portzamparc used a breathable material called mashrabiya for the walls to facilitate natural ventilation, and subterranean cellars to minimise use of air-conditioning.

Both buildings also use natural materials – wood, glass and cement – inside and out.

Cheval Blanc is roofed with grass and wild flowers, while the exterior at Clerc Milon is made entirely of Ipé wood – the hardest known wood – and the white stone of the Médoc.

Mouton technical director Philippe Dhalluin told Decanter.com, ‘Two years ago we decided that Clerc Milon should have its own technical team, and hired Jean Emmanuelle Danjoy from Opus One.

‘This new winery is part of the same process of focusing quality at the estate, and giving it its own identity. A new label from the 2010 vintage will further underline this.’

Pierre Lurton, director of Cheval Blanc, confirmed the cost of the new building at €13m.

Among the invitees at Clerc Milon were Bernadette Chirac, the wife of former French president Jacques Chirac, politician Jack Lang, and film-maker and California winery owner Francis Ford Coppola.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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