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New graphic novel set in the Medoc

A graphic novel set in Bordeaux, by French cartoonist Eric Corbeyran, is due out in France in early 2011.

Médoc is a family saga about a young American woman who inherits Château Chêne Courbe from her father, only to find it comes with all its associated problems and family feuds.

The idea not too far removed from the Japanese manga Drops of the Gods that has proved so successful in both Asia and France.

Corbeyran is a renowned graphic author, with over 70 books to his name. His best-selling titles include Le Chant des Stryges, Atavisme and Epreuve.

He has lived in Bordeaux since 1987, but this is the first story he has set in the region.

The book is co-authored by illustrator Sébastien Portet, whose pen-name is Espé, and who is also new to the world of wine.

Both visited dozens of properties to study the architecture and winery layouts for the images, meeting high-profile Bordelais such as Michel Rolland, Florence and Daniel Cathiard at Smith Haut Laffite, Céline Villars-Foubet at Chasse-Spleen and negociant Allan Sichel.

‘I asked some key figures in the wine world to relive their histories and their stories in this complex world that is a mix of passion, technical know-how and money,’ Corbeyran told a local newspaper.

Espé added, ‘The final chateau will be a mix of several properties, and wine lovers may be able to spot certain features.’

Philippe Hauri, director of publications at publishers Glénat, which also publishes Drops of the Gods in France, told decanter.com, ‘Jacques Glenat [the owner] is a lover of good wine, and he always dreamt about doing a graphic novel about wine from a French perspective.

‘The success of Les Gouttes des Dieux was a push in the right direction. Visually, it will be a more realistic image style than a manga, but it will similarly be a way of reaching a new audience who may not normally interact with the wine world.’

Medoc is planned as a three-volume series, with volume two currently in production.

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Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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