Since the 1980s, in Pauillac, Jean-Michel Cazes has been considered a pioneer of wine tourism. In this interview, his son Jean-Charles, who took over the business in 2006, explains how he is continuing to enrich the visitor experience in this fascinating world of wine and it's culture.
Is hospitality a tradition at Lynch-Bages?
Some 30 years ago, my father created a range of activities and places to stay, hoping that visitors would retain an image of the Medoc as an open and welcoming wine region, with the people working in the vineyards, cellars and kitchens able to share their passion for their careers.
The Cazes family is a pioneer of wine tourism in the Bordeaux region. What sort of experiences are you offering?
In 1989, our family organized the Fête de la Fleur, in Bages. The impulse was given. My father opened Lynch-Bages to guided tours and used the 1850s vat as an exhibition space for contemporary artists. He then revamped the adjacent Cordeillan-Bages into a Relais & Chateaux hotel and gastronomic restaurant. Since 2003, he has transformed the hamlet into a gracious retreat. A bistro, gourmet deli, guided tours, wine-tasting courses, art exhibitions, cooking demonstrations, personal winemaking… managed by Lynch-Bages & Cie, open seven days a week to a diverse range of visitors of all ages.
How has wine tourism developed in the region?
Over the past few years, winemakers have opened their vineyards to the public and created guesthouses and dining facilities. In Bordeaux, the Cité du Vin cultural centre will open in 2016, supported by patrons from the wine industry. In 2009, VINIV was established in Bages to allow wine enthusiasts to participate in the winemaking process and produce their own wines from grapes grown in the best appellations of Bordeaux. Throughout the year, Cordeillan-Bages opens the doors to great wineries and organizes bespoke experiences in the region. All these activities have made the region even more attractive for visitors and earned us the Global Best of Wine Tourism 2016 award for France.
Route des Châteaux
Phone: +33 (0)5 56 59 24 24.