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Harvest season has arrived at Château Troplong Mondot in France

Château Troplong Mondot vineyard

To mark the year’s grape harvest or ‘vendange’ at Bordeaux’s Château Troplong Mondot, in September and October overnight guests at this Premier Grand Cru wine estate are invited to experience the legendary vineyard at this most exciting time in the wine-making calendar. During the harvest season, there is a very distinctive feel to a stay at Troplong Mondot, as a whole year of working in the vineyard comes together to create a new vintage, and oenophiles gather across France’s most well-known region to experience the buzz in the air.

This year’s hot and dry weather means that harvesting started on Monday 29 August, with around 12 to 13 days of picking taking place over the course of approximately one month. The team take their time, ensuring the grapes are picked at their perfectly matured state, with Merlot the first to be harvested, and Cabernet Sauvignon the last ripen. While staying at the estate during harvest, overnight guests will witness the team’s camaraderie first hand; from the vineyard views offered by the château’s elegant accommodation, they may spot the team proudly loading the precious berries onto Troplong Mondot’s tractors, which work right across the terroir’s 43 hectares of vines.

Grapes Those wishing to take the experience one step further can book onto the château’s four-and-a-half-hour “Dive into Harvest” tour. Available weekdays at 10am, the private, half-day experience promises to take guests to the heart of the action, offering an introduction to selecting the grapes which create the estate’s celebrated wines. An expert wine guide will take guests roaming across the estate’s impressive terroir, inviting them to try their hand at grape-picking from different plots – before taking to the cellar to learn all about fermentation and taste the newly harvested wine in its early stages. The beginning of the harvest is the most crucial moment for ensuring that each grape variety has the right taste required for the vintage, and guests will discover how to know exactly when each plot is ready to be picked. Over the course of a long al fresco lunch with the expert team at the harvesters’ table, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to interact with the grape pickers and learn about working on the estate, before sampling a selection of prized vintages. New for this year, the estate will be welcoming food trucks during the harvest season, giving guests the chance to indulge in the local culinary scene while celebrating this highlight of the Saint-Émilion calendar.

Alongside the celebrated winery, Château Troplong Mondot offers some of the best accommodation in the region, including The Keys, a magnificent 19th century white stone country house containing two individually decorated bedrooms and one suite, and its regal 18th century château, available on special request for up to ten guests on an exclusive hire basis. Dining is a true highlight at Troplong Mondot and its restaurant, Les Belles Perdrix, has fast become the most sought-after table in the area, having just been awarded 1 Michelin Star, as well as a Green Star for the restaurant's sustainable practices. Seasonal offerings during the autumn months include mushroom gnocchi with roasted mushrooms and lovage; John Dory with green olives and herbs, a vegetable jus and stuffed courgette flowers from the garden at Troplong Mondot; a tart made with locally grown tomatoes, mozzarella crémeux, tomato caramel, and a vinaigrette using herbs grown on the estate.

By day, guests can take dips in the château’s private swimming pool, hit the running trails that wind through the vines, or explore the local area that surrounds the picturesque estate. Couples can slow down the pace with an electric bike ride, passing other Premier Grand Cru Classé vineyards in action and perhaps even paying them a visit to observe other harvesting methods. The enchanting local town of Saint-Émilion is just a short walk away, for strolls along the Dordogne river and charming independent food shops and boutiques. The culinary scene is awash with restaurants and bars offering plenty of choice, while this UNESCO-world heritage site is home to a fascinating underground troglodyte heritage including the biggest monolithic church in Europe.

To find out more, visit www.troplong-mondot.com

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