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Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs became the first wine estate in Saint-Emilion to launch production of white wine from Chardonnay. The birth of this new cuvée from Bordeaux was preceded by a long and meticulous experimentation phase led by winemaker Louis Mitjavile and the entire Chateau team. The very first vintage (2019) of this Elena cuvée, like all those to follow, will be donated to charities.

By decision of the chateau owner Andrei Filatov, the Elena cuvée from Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs will not be available for retail sale. Instead, virtually the entire produce will be handed over to charity auctions in the regions of Art Russe presence and all the proceeds will be donated to charitable foundations that support children with serious illnesses. The idea for this charity project came from the entrepreneur’s spouse Elena Filatov.

Chardonnay occupies one hectare of the Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs vineyard, known for its famous wines Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Art Russe Collection, and for its daring innovations in the field of winemaking. Most of these are vines planted 4 years ago; a quarter of these are young Chardonnay vines grafted on old Merlot roots. The Elena cuvée is vinified in 100% new oak barrels from the Radoux cooperage. Aging lasts about 12 months. Through numerous trials, both the Chateau and Radoux teams have selected the best wood and two types of toast to obtain the most convincing result. As Director of the estate Laurent Prosperi points out, these particularities create “a refined, exquisite, gourmet white wine with intense aromatic notes and a rich structure on the palate”.

This wine will only be available in magnums. The unique bottles of the new Chardonnay are handcrafted from transparent and frosted glass at the Waltersperger glassworks labelled EPV (Living Heritage Company). Each bottle is decorated with floral designs individually painted by an artist.

At the time of the official release of Elena 2019, the first Chardonnay from Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs, the 2020 harvest has already ended. According to experts, this year’s weather conditions allowed the winegrowers to pick berries at the ideal point of maturity, which suggests excellent potential for the future wine.

Photo: first vintage of Elena сuvée by Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs