In France a few days ago, living a never-endingly eventful Travelife, we did a private visit to the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in the region of Graves.
This is one of the most prominent winemakers in the region.
They have great wines, a fantastic winery, and very impressive marketing skills when it comes to packaging their products and getting the world to notice them.
Not all wineries have this winning combination, but Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte certainly does.
Plus, the owners themselves work very hard at what they do.
ONE OF A KIND
I've seen all kinds of wineries all over the world by now.
However I have to say that Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte is something else because it successfully observes tradition -- they even make their own wine barrels here -- but they've also embraced the 21st century.
Of course we toured everything, including the original underground cellar, which is still very much in use today.
EFFORTLESS FRENCH DECOR
Their tasting room, on the other hand, is very stylish in a French country way.
It is so artfully done, but it also looks so effortlessly done -- as if things have looked this way since the beginning of time.
We tasted lots of wines here, of course.
THE WOW FACTOR. WOW.
But the reason I'm including a blog entry about this particular winery is because of the drop-dead impressive private wine cellar of the owners.
This private wine cellar is exactly under the tasting room. You would never know it's there unless they decided to show it to you.
|We had a private wine tasting at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte|
Fortunately, they decided to show it to us.
"You'll have to stand back if you want to see it," we were told, as we walked to one side of the tasting room.
I knew we were headed for the owner's private wine cellar, but I thought all along that this was behind one of the doors -- not under the ground.
JAMES BOND, WHERE ARE YOU?
|Waiting for James Bond...|
We stood back and then, with a click of a button, the floor parted to reveal a very modern staircase, with a very modern room, with music, lights and all the technology you can imagine.
I swear. It was just like in a James Bond movie.
We clambered down excitedly to see a wall of high-tech graphics going on and some really cool music playing.
Amazing. There was even a high-tech installation art display by some famous Korean artist.
And just as amazing were the wines on display -- just like that, on the table. Some of them were from the 19th century.
I could only look at everything in amazement.
Yes, everyday truly is a never-endingly eventful Travelife.
AND LOOK AT WHAT'S INSIDE THIS PRIVATE CELLAR...
|Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 1920|
|Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 1878|
|The endless 3D installation by a Korean artist|
in the private cellar of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte