The LALIQUE glassworks has created a barrique in crystal for Château Lafaurie- Peyraguey in Sauternes to mark the château’s 400th anniversary (1618-2018). The barrel is a world first. It is completely transparent and will enable visitors to Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey to appreciate a great wine in an exceptional container – a Bordeaux-type barrique, with 225 litres capacity (300 bottles). This is a unique piece that took more than two years to make. It is filled with Château Lafaurie-Premier Grand Cru Classé 2013 Premier Grand Cru Classé – the first vintage presided over by owner Silvio Denz. Such barrels are traditionally made of oak and regarded as symbols of the production of fine wines.
Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO of Lalique: “This extraordinary piece, crafted at the Lalique factory, showcases the outstanding skills and know-how of our master glassmakers and the standards of excellence for which we strive. The alliance between Lalique and Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey is a marriage of French savoir-faire and savoir-vivre, a fusion between the gold of Sauternes and the crystal of Alsace.”
David Bolzan, Managing Director at Vignobles Silvio Denz: “This is something really special for our guests to discover: a work in which wine, a Premier Grand Cru Classé from the 1855 classification, meets crystal, one of the world’s most noble materials. Together they create a third dimension that is quite unique, one that stimulates all the senses. The five-star LALIQUE hotel and restaurant at the heart of the château breathes life into all these objects, creating a unique setting that celebrates French lifestyle.”
The making of the barrique was a formidable technical feat. Twelve different craft skills were involved, most notably the technique known as lost-wax casting that was practised by René Lalique up to 1930. The moulds are made from plaster instead of the customary cast iron. They are used for a single casting and their handling requires a high degree of skill.
The “Femme et Raisins (Woman and Grapes)” motif, created by René Lalique in 1928 for the first-class sleeping cars on the Côte d’Azur Pullman Express, is engraved on the front of the barrique. A frosting effect, known as satinage, has been applied to the entire surface of the piece to reproduce the “repolished-satin” finish favoured by René Lalique, which creates an extraordinary play of light.
The leather straps, fastened with crystal cabochons, were added to represent the metal hoops that usually encircle a barrique. The crystal bung is an exact replica of the glass stoppers that are still in use to this day.
The LALIQUE barrique is another example of the synergy between wine and crystal generated by the acquisition of Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey by Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO of Lalique, in 2014. Following the addition of the “Femme et Raisins” engraving to the bottles of Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey since the 2013 vintage, six unique pieces have been created entirely in crystal and are now on show in Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey’s wine store. These six objects, known as the “The DNA of wine by LALIQUE”, represent the grape, the vine leaf, the drop of wine, the cork, the six-litre bottle (Imperial) and the transparent case of six bottles. Further proof of the expertise possessed by the Lalique glassworks and the fresh breath of inspiration emanating from the world of wine.
About the LALIQUE hotel and restaurant at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey: The LALIQUE hotel and restaurant at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey opened its doors in June 2018, which marked the 400th anniversary of the Château. The new hotel-restaurant is intended as a meeting point of four worlds: wine, crystal, gastronomy and hospitality. This new top-class destination at the heart of the Sauternes region offers ten rooms and three suites, a bar serving cocktails based on Sauternes, and a gourmet restaurant orchestrated by Chef Jérôme Schilling, with a wine list created by Head Sommelier Adrien Cascio. The establishment has been decorated throughout by the interior design team of Lady Tina Green and Pietro Mingarelli, authors of the Lalique Maison furniture collection. Just two months after opening, the Lalique hotel and restaurant at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey was invited to join the distinguished Relais & Châteaux collection and a few weeks later was awarded five stars by the celebrated Atout France hotel ratings. In January 2019, Jérôme Schilling and the LALIQUE restaurant were awarded a first star by Guide Michelin only six months after the opening of the hotel and restaurant.