20th June, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Bordeaux first growth Château Mouton Rothschild officially opened its new vat room during a gala dinner for 600 at the Pauillac estate this week.
The new Mouton vat room
Created by set designer by Richard Peduzzi and French architect Bernard Mazières, the split level structure features wooden beams, slim metal pillars and suspended lighting.
According to Peduzzi, the room is intended to evoke the iconography of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedia.
“The space is an elegant way of recalling that a great wine remains as in the 18th century, the result of work in the vineyard and winery, founded on perfect harmony between people, their tools and their environment,” he said.
Each of the room’s 64 vats (44 oak and 20 stainless steel) corresponds to a different parcel within the estate, helping to optimise both the selection of the grapes and the blending of the wine.
Each of the vats are fitted with transparent staves so that the different stages of the vinification process can be monitored.
Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who was this week honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the drinks business and the Institute of Masters of Wine, also took the opportunity of the gala dinner to launch a permanent exhibition space for the artworks that have graced labels of Mouton’s grand vin since 1945.
The exhibition “Mouton Rothschild – Paintings for the Labels”, had previously toured some of the world’s leading museums before finding a fixed abode at the estate.
Set across two floors, the collection brings together some of the most influential artists of the last century, including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, and more recently Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Anish Kapoor.
The exhibition features numerous preparatory drawings and each artist’s original work, which offer a valuable insight into the thought process behind the designs.