Château Marquis d'Alesme Links French and Chinese Architecture

Château Marquis d'Alesme Links French and Chinese Architecture
A dragon-shaped bronze balustrade will run over the winemaking vats.
(Courtesy Vignobles Labégorce)

The Perrodo family has launched an ambitious architectural project at Château Marquis d'Alesme Becker in Margaux that will open to the public in fall 2015 showcasing traditional French and Chinese building styles. 

A third Cru Classé of the Médoc according to the 1855 ranking, Marquis D'Alesme had fallen in the Margaux hierarchy before being bought in 2006 by the Perrodos who also own Château Labégorce. As Marjolaine De Coninck, managing director at Vignobles Labégorce, explained to BLOUIN ARTINFO, “the aim is to restore the prestige of Marquis d'Alesme, and create a real jewel casket for its wine.

The project is also an opportunity for the owners to create something entirely unique. “Being half French and half Hong Kong Chinese, Nathalie Perrodo felt the need to pay homage to both cultures,” said architect Fabien Pedelaborde, who is leading the project and is also acclaimed for his beautiful work at Château Soutard in Saint Emilion (read full story here). 

The three new buildings, including the plain-stone winemaking facility and the pavilion facing it, as well as the tiny Marie-Antoinette-style hamlet, will emulate classic French architecture. The Chinese influence will mainly be seen on the inside of the wine cellar, which will feature a dragon-shape bronze balustrade running over the vats and water, earth and sky motifs decorating the concrete walls, and be built using no-nail techniques like in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing“Our goal is not to have something flashy,” tells De Coninck, “rather to create a feeling like in these old wooden temples which aged well and on which you still can see some gold dust.”

Outside view of the new Marquis d'Alesme buildings: on the left, the winemaking facility, on the right, the 18th century pavilion coming from Labégorce. Courtesy Vignobles Labégorce

From the roof of the main building, visitors will have a panoramic view of the village and great châteaux of Margaux, from château Margaux itself through Palmer to Labégorce. They will also enjoy a walk around the hundred-year-old trees of the park, before discovering a new Chinese garden. 

The stone-by-stone reconstructed 18th century pavilion, which comes from the Labégorce estate, will host business meetings. As for Marquis dAlesme connoisseurs, they will be received in the farm-like area, to experience an “elitist and uncomplicated” initation to the tasting of the estate’s wine, a highly classical Médoc Cru Classé blend involving mainly grapes of the cabernet family: first of all cabernet sauvignon, and also cabernet franc and petit verdot. 

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