PARIS, May 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Inspired by two millennia of winemaking history born from the legendary gravelly soils of its fabled estate, the mother company of Château Haut-Brion has now endowed this vineyard with a new cultural treasure: the very finest collections of antiquarian wine and gastronomy books in the world. Under the leadership of its Chairman and CEO, Robert de Luxembourg, the family-owned company has scoured the globe to cobble together what will be considered as an exceptional new jewel in the already particularly ornate crown of this most ancient and venerable of estates.
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"With every sip, over two millennia, Chateau Haut-Brion has been a privileged witness of our human story and in many ways the ancestor of all of the existing fine wines in the world. Since its earliest days, the estate has also forged a symbiotic union with the world of gastronomy. By creating this unique treasure of a library at our vineyard in France, we bare witness to this noble past while uniting documents that like Chateau Haut-Brion have survived the ages in order to tell their own stories and thereby reflect the passion of our ancestors. This collection gathers us all around a venerable metaphorical table as we share in a sensorial banquet that spans the ages and continues to inspire the world of fine wine and gastronomy… to this day."
Prince Robert de Luxembourg
Buried in this rich historical soil, the estate can also boast an ancient union with the world of gastronomy. In 1666 the Pontac family opened Pontac's Head, one of Europe's very first gastronomic restaurants. In 1787 Joseph Fumel receives Thomas Jefferson at the estate. In 1803 the "Louisiana Purchase" will once again connect the then owner of Château Haut-Brion, the Prince de Talleyrand-Perigord with the President of the United States. Later, Talleyrand became the most admired host and diplomat at The Congress of Vienna not least due to the presence of his famous Chef, Antonin Carême, who would himself become the first true "star chef".
"Two of Chef Antonin Carême's books signed by his hand, Le maître d'hôtel français and Le pâtissier pittoresque were an early inspiration that would become the cornerstone of the Château Haut-Brion library. As two of my very first purchases, these represented world history, gastronomy and of course the renowned diplomacy of the erstwhile owner of Château Haut-Brion, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord."
Prince Robert de Luxembourg
Currently a huge construction and renovation project is underway at Château Haut-Brion, overseen by the architect Annabelle Selldorf, which will house new wine-making facilities, but also the growing collection of menus, letters, documents and exceptional antiquarian gastronomy and wine books. The Château Haut-Brion library has recently benefited immensely from the addition of the Thackrey Collection of books which was shaped by a passionate and talented California wine-maker, Mr Sean Thackrey. Mr Thackrey's collection has undoubtedly added a new dimension to this Château Haut-Brion athenaeum.
One of the most revered and ancient terroirs now boasts a collection of books and texts dating back in one case 1500 years. Today the library encompasses approximately 3000 books about viticulture, wine and gastronomy, 8 original archives on the history of Château Haut-Brion, 312 historic menus, 100 prestigious restaurants wine lists, 43 original signed letters and manuscripts and 17 manuscripts in Japanese, devoted to agriculture, gastronomy and the art of the table.
As it is at the genesis of fine wine history and lore, the First Growth Château Haut-Brion has now also become one of the ultimate repositories of the finest antiquarian Gastronomic and Wine libraries in the world. The collection will be made accessible to scholars by appointment starting in 2026.
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