A bottle from 1811 has been purchased for 117,000 dollars, the most precious bottle of white wine ever sold. This winery has a history of over 400 years, and its brand is recognised as an icon of luxury, together with its sisters Vuitton, Dior, Bulgari, Moët et Chandon, and all the other labels controlled by LVMH, the world leader of luxury. Famous, precious, enduring, constant, unmatched, Château d’Yquem is not just a great wine, it is, first and foremost, a symbol beyond fashion and vintages. It is the perfect blend of the finesse and the fragrance of Sauvignon Blanc and the body and the structure of Sémillon with noble rot. It is the highest expression of Sauternes, the denomination it contributed to create and make famous all over the world. Château d’Yquem is produced in the namesake region in the southern Bordeaux area, and it is the only wine in the world with the classification of “Premier Cru Supérieur”. Its extraordinary longevity is one of its unique characteristics, as it is its label, simple and elegant, with its distinctive seven-pointed crown.
Château d’Yquem controls every step of vine training with extraordinary rigour and insight. These vines are an inestimable heritage, and the Pruning Guys are honoured to participate as consultants to its preservation, with a project for training the manual pruning staff, a strategic and delicate task.
“Since last year, we are applying the Simonit&Sirch Method to the vines at Château d’Yquem. Our aim is to reduce the degradation of the plants, with a pruning pointed at lessening the impact that cuts might have on the flow of sap in the vines.” – Mr Simonit says. “For such a precious and long-lived wine, with a demand on the market for constant characteristics vintage after vintage, the longevity of the vines is a key factor that warrants grapes keeping similar properties over the years.”
“We have been working with Prof. Denis Dubordieu at the University of Bordeaux and in different Châteaux. Thanks to this collaboration we have been contacted by Château d’Yquem: we are pleased and proud of this opportunity, since for centuries they have been preserving their vines with any method they consider valid and at the forefront. They have identified our pruning method as a precious device in order to make their vines less vulnerable, with a more solid and efficient wood structure.”
The Pruning Guys are working on a project for improving the pruning technique on Sauvignon Blanc. “We are setting up a working approach based on the four rules of our method, tailored on the traditional training at Yquem, the cot sauternais. We want our plants to give bunches with shape and dimension favouring the development of noble botrytis, a specific characteristic of Sauternes sweet wines”- Mr Simonit explains. “In these years, we will design with them how to best modify and develop our technique, so to respect the tradition and obtain healthier plants.”