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King Charles' wine experience in Bordeaux

The King visited the famous Bordeaux winery, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, known for championing organic production

Britain's King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla visit a 'chateaux' that makes wine on a State Visit to France, in Bordeaux, France, September 22, 2023. (Ian Vogler/Pool via Reuters)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 24.09.2023  |  02:14 PM IST

Last week, King Charles III was on a three-day state visit to France. He was accompanied by Queen Camilla. Needless to say the Royal couple was treated to the best of French dining including a lavish bouquet at the Palace of Versailles. It had a menu with blue lobster and crab cake with almonds and mint, French poultry with mushroom gratin, French and English cheeses and rose flavored macaron with lychee cream and fresh raspberries.

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Apart from the grand dinner, the Royal couple made a short trip to Bordeaux to visit one of the world’s finest wineries, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. Located in the south of Bordeaux, in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, the winery is highly regarded for its organic farming practices. A story by the Associated Press reported that the King was in Bordeaux ‘to meet emergency workers and communities impacted by last year’s wildfires.’ Since his visit to the region was environment related, the next step was to tour a winery that has adopted environment-friendly production practices.

A Decanter story about Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte notes, “Florence Cathiard – who bought the estate in 1990 along with her husband Daniel, a former skiing champion who represented France at the Olympic Games – believes that Château Smith Haut Lafitte was selected for the visit due to King Charles’ penchant for biodiversity and for wines that are ‘the expression of a living terroir’." According to Cathiard, several officials from the Buckingham palace thoroughly inspected the property before the King arrived. 

Decanter reports, “Château Smith Haut Lafitte is now famed for its emphasis on organic production, biodynamics and sustainability, along with the quality of its wines. The estate produces its own solar energy, while it also captures any carbon emissions it emits and converts them. Sodium fermentations are resold for the production of spirulina, while the grape pomace is valorised and used in the production of cosmetic creams. The Cathiards’ eldest daughter, Mathilde, founded the Caudalie cosmetics brand, which uses active ingredients from the vine." The Royal couple was presented with a few bottles of their finest wines and honey produced in the estate. 

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