Cellar

The ethics of balance 

No forcing, no short-cuts, no-excess: just revealing and honouring the soul of the terroir.

Vinification

Technology at the service of terroir

After meticulously sorting each of the fifty-four parcels, they are vinified separately.

Made of concrete or stainless steel, the vats are all truncated cone-shaped, with double insulated walls. With a capacity of between 50 and 200 hectolitres, they are sized to suit the plot-by-plot harvest. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in these vats, at a controlled temperature of 26-28°C, with gentle pump overs. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels and stainless steel vats. The wines are carefully selected and tasted throughout the year. Exceptionnal batches are reserved for the grand vin, and meet the quality requirements that are the secret of the Haut-Bailly terroir.

The selection is very strict. The blends of Château Haut-Bailly and Haut-Bailly•II are created with great precision, following a series of tastings. Some of the batches are then dedicated to a third wine, HB.

Ageing

The wines are then placed in oak barrels and matured for 14 to 16 months. The estate’s policy is to adapt the proportion of new barrels to the structure of the vintage. It varies between 50 and 60% for Château Haut-Bailly and averages 30% for Haut-Bailly•II. The barrels, fine-grained French oak, are selected from 7 different coopers.

Blending

To blend is to know how to identify and then match elective affinities, in the sense that in chemistry we speak of the disposition that substances have to unite together. Or in music, the blending of instruments, and in painting, the combination of colours to produce a particular harmony.

Around the tasting table in the cellar, covered with test tubes, decanters, bottles and glasses, in the daylight that pours in through the large bay window, facing the towering silhouette of the château, in religious silence, the five senses are alert.

And what about the intellect? The final, reasoned choice of the winemaker? Because no, a great wine does not come together on its own, by chance or miracle; it is man who puts it together.

It is the human factor, and the human factor alone, that makes sense of what the five senses have perceived and retained, analytically and synthetically.

Architecture

The emotion of an architectural creation

The cellar project
for Château Haut-Bailly is the fruit of an encounter, an alchemy of dialogue and creativity.

Architecture blends into the landscape to create a design that preserves the heritage of the existing buildings and forges a close link with the château. We aspired to create a building that was modern and timeless while also perfectly integrating into its surroundings. The château -at the centre of the composition -remains the highest point of the property.

Three major challenges were taken up in this architectural creation.

The first was the contextual approach, integrating the building into the topography of the site. The building needed to fit in with the existing volumetric continuity, preserving the central image of the château.

At the same time, the building’s primary function required it to have large volumes. The complexity of the plot, combined with this requirement, led us to propose a circular building incorporating a rising landscape.

The second challenge was the structural approach. The vault, as if in weightlessness, dominates the vat room at a height of 8.80 metres, without any posts, and supports a suspended garden of 2,400 m2. The use of concrete makes this architectural feat possible, and gives the building its timeless style. Concrete offers a plastic, sculptural, monolithic aspect that makes it possible to explore this complex geometry.

The third challenge is the spatial approach, managing flows and the sensory experience for visitors. Circulation is gentle because the shapes are soft, and contribute to the feeling of well-being that the building provides. Our ambition is for visitors’ sensory memory to be marked by the premises, in the same way as the memory of taste is marked by the wines. The feeling of expansion, compression and suspension provided by the architecture resonates with that experienced when tasting the wines.

Haut-Bailly is about balance, rejecting ‘too much’, any excess whatsoever, in order to remain true to ourselves, to respect and protect the elegance of our wines.

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An exceptional terroir

The Haut-Bailly vineyard is located on one of the highest ridges on the left bank, and is home to century-old vines unique to Bordeaux.