Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chateau Margaux – Wed., 4/30/08


It took me three emails and several phone calls to get an appointment at Ch. Margaux, and I actually started the process a month in advance. Eventually they agreed that I could visit and I was very excited, though a little tired as I started out that morning in the rain. However, I had only driven one mile when disaster struck. As I slowed down to approach a roundabout, the car behind me rear-ended mine, and the person behind her, smashed her car – resulting in a 3 car collision. I think the rainy pavement caused the accident. Shaking, I pulled over and the other two cars followed me. Unfortunately neither of them spoke English and my French wasn’t good enough to communicate effectively. Both of their small cars were pretty messed up, but amazingly my larger Peugeot only had a small scratch on the back bumper and the license plate was crooked. Finally we decided to exchange phone numbers and insurance information. I told them I had an important appointment, and would call later. I didn’t want to miss Margaux!

Shaking, I got back in the car and drove slowly towards the Medoc. Fortunately I had given myself some extra time and still managed to arrive at the Chateau thirty minutes before my 10am appointment. I was met by the Hospitality/PR Manager who provided a wonderful private tour and tasting through the cellars. The property is so beautiful, and I was very impressed to see their private cooperage. After the tour, I met for thirty minutes with the charming and very eloquent Paul Pontallier, General Manager, who described the traceability process beginning with bar-coding baskets of grapes in the vineyard. Truly amazing.

On the way back from Margaux, I called the girl who rear-ended me and she had a friend who spoke English talk to me. He said she didn’t want to report it to her insurance and would meet me later that evening to fill out paper work, but she never showed up.

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