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World wine centre planned for the Medoc

Philippe Raoux of Bordeaux Chateau d’Arsac has drawn up plans for a multimillion euro ‘California-style’ wine centre – in the middle of the Médoc.

Currently renowned for his yearly art commissions that surround d’Arsac, and for the near-impossible feat of having his wine reclassified into the Margaux appellation, Raoux now intends to open the Winery Chamvermeil next door to Arsac in January 2007.

The winery will be a base for his mail order and internet company, Chamvermeil – France’s largest direct wine company – but will also house a shop, a centre for wine tourism, an exhibition space, an education centre, a wine bar, an amphitheatre tasting room and a restaurant.

Raoux told decanter.com, ‘This is very definitely a first for Bordeaux, and will be built along the same lines as the best wine centres in California and Australia.’

Arsac’s architect, Patrick Hernandez, has already drawn up plans for the €10m project, with a 10,000m² contemporary space set within a 27ha park between Arsac and Castelnau du Médoc, to the west of the Margaux appellation.

Construction will begin next year, in partnership with various agencies including neighbouring wineries in the Médoc and the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce.

‘This marks a new approach to wine for the region,’ Raoux said. ‘We will look at Bordeaux wine within its international context, giving visitors access to information not just on our wines, but on the great wines of the world.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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