Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mondovino: Film, Tasting + Talk Sept. 20

Dear Reader, after posting this story yesterday, I just received word that this event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Chateau La Coste hopes to reschedule at a later date and apologizes for any inconvenience.

On Friday September 20, the wine domaine Chateau La Coste will screen the documentary Mondovino and Yvonne Hégoburu (of Domaine de Souch in the Jurançon appellation) will be present to share her experiences. Madame Hégoburu is one of the "stars" of the film and she appears alongside wine-world superstars such as the Mondavi clan (Robert, Magrit, Michael, Tim), the Antinori clan (Albiera, Allegra, Lodovico, Piero), Jean-Charles Boisset, Marquis Dino Frescobaldi, Michael Broadbent, Robert Parker and many others. 

After the screening, there will be a tasting of Madame Hégoburu's white wines, considered to be among the great sweet wines of France. 

The evening will finish with a buffet of charcuterie and cheese, accompanied by the wines of Château La Coste. 

Mondovino, by Jonathan Nossiter, was an Official Selection at Cannes in 2004. Nossiter is a filmmaker and winemaker who grew up between France, Italy, Greece and India. From Napa Valley to Burgundy to Italy, Mondovino explores wine-world issues across three continents, from conflicts and rivalries between families to struggles for the preservation of the land. 

Yvonne Hégoburu and her husband René built their home in an idyllic spot on the top of a hill at the foot of the Pyrenees, about 6km from the town of Pau. They enjoyed many happy years there together and dreamed of having a vineyard one day. René passed away before he could see it realized but in 1987, at the age of 60, Yvonne launched Domaine de Souch in his memory and planted her first vines. Her very first wine won a gold medal in Paris. Converted to organic and biodynamic techniques in 1994, the domaine produces dry and sweet white wines of exceptional quality, using the grape varieties typical of the region. The wines are a blend of 70% Petit Manseng, 20% Gros Manseng and small quantities of Petit Courbu.

Château La Coste, meanwhile, is an unique 600-acre estate roughly ten minutes north of Aix, in the agricultural village of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade. People call it the ''starchitect'' winery as it has a large visitors center designed by Tadao Ando, plus numerous installations and buildings crafted by luminaries such as Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry. Sculptures on the property are by Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeous and others, while artists with work on view include Alexander Calder, Michael Stipe, Andy Goldsworthy, Paul Matisse and more. 

While the newest incarnation of Château La Coste is just two years old, there's been agriculture and winemaking here as far back as Roman times. On the property are cobbled Gallo-Roman pathways, dry stone walls, bridges, underground wells...and the vestiges of an intricate watering system currently undergoing restoration. A lovely Venetian villa in a rosy pink hue has stood here since 1682. 

It was in 2004 that the current Irish owners decided to transform the domaine into a peaceful and inspiring place where art, architecture and the terrain would blend seamlessly. The idea had already been successful in the Basque city of Álava, headquarters of Vinos del Marqués de Riscal, where Frank Gehry was commissioned to build a hotel. Here in France, the owners expanded on that idea, inviting artists and architects from all over the world to “visit, explore and find a place upon the estate that inspired them to create.” New buildings are coming from Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, while other additions--such as a small hotel--are being discussed. 

To see the major features of the property, plan for a two-hour stroll with some gravel and gentle hills. And consider staying on for a meal...my friends and I loved everything about our lunch here last November: the sunshine on the terrace, the calm of the reflecting pool, the excellent food, the wine (of course!) and the gracious warmth of our server. Make sure to also leave time for perusing the art and architecture books in the alcove by the front desk. 

Château La Coste is open for self-guided visits year round (you'll be provided with a map) while guided visits are available in English, by reservation. In season, scheduled English-language tours are offered on Friday, Saturday and Sundays at 1 p.m. More info and admission prices can be found on the bi-lingual website.

General Info 
Château La Coste, 2750 Route de la Cride, Le Puy Sainte Reparade, contact@chateau-la-coste.com, tel 04 42 61 89 98. GPS coordinates on the websitechateau-la-coste.com.

Info for Sept 20 Event
The screening of Mondovino is free. The buffet, wine and tasting presented by Yvonne Hégoburu is 30€ per person. More info and reservations are by phone (04 42 61 92 92) or online at chateau-la-coste.com. Places are limited and reservations are advised.

6:30 pm: Welcome and refreshments on the wine shop terrace.
7 pm: Screening commences in the tasting room
9:30 pm: Tasting with Yvonne Hégoburu in the wine shop
9:50 pm: Buffet on the wine shop terrace


  1. Film and wine - a great combination!

  2. This looks like a wonderful, beyond wonderful evening. And for those from far away, yes, it may be the starchitect winery but their wines are good!



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