FRENCH WRITER PROTESTED EXOTIC CHINESE NAMES FOR BORDEAUX CHATEAUX
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Well known French writer Philippe Sollers has protested to the Mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe about the exotic names given to historic Bordeaux chateaux by their new Chinese owners.
“I was very surprised to learn that you have approved the incredible changing of names of certain wines of our land, which have taken on the appellations of Chinese folklore,” Philippe Sollers, 82, wrote in an open letter to Juppe who is also a former Prime Minister and presidential primary election candidate.
“During my childhood in Bordeaux I never met the imperial rabbit nor the least Tibetan antelope”, he told Juppe who will soon leave his post as Bordeaux Major to become a member of the Constitutional Council.
Sollers, a native of Gironde whose novels include "A Strange Solitude and Women", cited examples of the new names for Bordeaux chateaux including Lapin Imperial (Imperial Rabbit), Lapin D’or (Golden Rabbit), Antilope Tibetaine (Tibetan Antelope) and Grand Antilope (Great Antelope).
As a matter of fact, as Bordeaux Major, Juppe does not have the power to approve or disapprove chateaux name changes. However, he chose to be humorous in his reply letter to Sollers by thanking him for “giving him powers that he does not have.”
He even extended invitation to Sollers “to continue the conversation over a glass of Bordeaux” which he specified is “the best wine in the world”.
The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), the Bordeaux wine trade organisation, also said that it does not have the power to approve or disapprove name changes.
“Everyone is free to adopt a chateau name that best suits their clientele,” said CIVB spokesman Christophe Chateau.
“There are about 9,500 wineries in Bordeaux, among them 140 have been bought by the Chinese and only 5 or 6 have changed their names,” he added.
“As for the appellation, it does not move and we always drink Margaux, Pomerol, Saint-Emilion,” Chateau said.
(the writer can be contacted at: SLawMathews@thewinechronicle.com)
**IF YOU THINK THE WINE CHRONICLE IS WORTH SUPPORTING, PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO HELP US IMPROVE AND CONTINUE OUR WORK**
TRENDING│ FOCUS│ SERVICES│ ABOUT US│ CONTACT