The origin of the project
The Chais du Port de la Lune project springs from the fierce and strong desire to make wine in the same location as where it is consumed: in Bordeaux the heart of the “mondovino”, this historical wine region, and also to illustrate the rebirth of the city as an urban and community based terroir, in a time when the wine industry is facing new economic, social and environmental challenges.
The other intention is to create a winery on a human scale, which is open to the public allowing lots of interaction, a short producer/wine maker circuit while educating the consumer about the beauty and complexity of wine production.
Ultimately, the project accentuates artisanal innovation in a field that is rooted in strong traditions – those of the wine region of Bordeaux. The intention is not to compete with what already exists but to show that local alternatives exist: Vins de France created in the urban landscape of the Port de la Lune. NB! Vins de France is a category of wines in the broad meaning of French wines, that must not be identified as Bordeaux wines in their traditional and regulatory meaning. Port de la Lune means ” the port of the moon” and is another name for the City of Bordeaux.
A Garden-City in Bacalan
The neighborhood in Bordeaux called “La cité Claveau” is made up of 450 social housing units built in the 1950’s in the north of Bordeaux, envisioned as a garden-city. In this densely populated area, Claveau stands out due to horizontal construction which uniquely combines public and private spaces.
Since 2007, the neighborhood has been in a transition period to renovate the area into a modernised garden-city, open to the surrounding city and with the participation of its inhabitants.
Les Chais du Port de la Lune settled into the area thanks to an initiative led by Aquitanis and the Platau association and now operates in an former bunker redeveloped to allow the maturation and storage of wine. This represents an environmentally friendly use of the facilities since its thermal characteristics are perfectly suited with no need for modification. The vat house is on the same site meaning that all of the winemaking is completed on-site.
A tandem of œno-artisans
Laurent Bordes is a trained winemaker with a huge passion for vine growing, since 2003 at his family property in the Cotes de Bourg region as well as in Pomerol, the holy grail for Merlot, and in the sweltering blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. With ten vintages under the belt, in 2014 he decided to cross over to the winery, working as an oenology technician in Bordeaux. In parallel, he started making his own wine, in his own way, in his apartment. Small production indeed, but big enough considering it had to be carried up to the second floor! He combines the science of enology with craftsmanship, and sees his profession as a winemaker like an artist, capable of listening to nature and adapting to its needs.
Annica Landais-Haapa who holds a Masters in Vine and Wine Law, formerly the head of legal affairs for the Artemis Domaines Group is currently in charge of administration and finance of the project. Originally from Finland, she fell in love with the city of Bordeaux and its wines, and put down roots there in 2007. She is passionate about the history of local viticulture and its legal aspects. Through this adventure, she intends on getting closer to the local market and end consumers while contributing to a more modern image of the world’s wine capital.