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Museum of negociants to open in Bordeaux

A negociants’ museum dedicated to the history and workings of the Bordeaux wine trade is opening in the Chartrons district of the city.

The museum will celebrate the network of brokers and merchants known as the Place de Bordeaux, who until the end of the 19th century worked in the heart of Chartrons, the traditional Bordeaux district that housed merchants’ cellars.

The negociant system has its roots in Irish, English and Dutch merchants from over four centuries ago and is today the only system of its kind in the world.

The museum, set to open in May 2008, is the initiative of a young Bordeaux wine merchant, Gregory Pecastaing, and his newly-created company, Bordeaux Historia Vini.

‘All the wine museums in Bordeaux have closed in recent years,’ Pecastaing told decanter.com.

‘Since the city got UNESCO World Heritage Status last year, it seemed crazy that there was nowhere to learn about the role wine has played in the growth of the region.’

Major negociant houses such as Schroder and Schyler, and Cordier plan to donate documents and other artefacts, and there are plans for a recreation of the quays in the 18th century, when wines were transported in barrel from the port of Chartrons.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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