Chateau Margaux, Margaux, France.
Chateau Margaux (First Growth classified in 1855) is known for being one of the best wines in the world thanks to its terroir and genetic heritage - a closely guarded secret.
Five centuries later, the Estate was undergoing a renovation at the time of my tasting visit with plans to revamp the building and improve the structures in need of repair. That did not prevent a tour of the Estate (however, somewhat limited) with a preview of the model building (expected to be completed long after my visit) and the tasting of 2 fine vintages.
I did get to watch the lees management, where wine is changed from one barrel to a new barrel, reducing or changing the yeast in the fermentation and aging process. Some wines, notably Chardonnay, Champagne and Muscadet are sometimes aged for a time on the lees (a process known as sur lie), leading to a distinctive yeasty aroma and taste. The lees may be stirred in order to promote uptake of the lees' flavour.
It was certainly an exciting opportunity to get to see the renowned winemakers doing their thing and letting me take photos of it !!