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COS Chronicle

Tastes of the Médoc


While wine may be primordial to the Médoc, the region also offers an incredible wealth of gastronomic delights, with its local growers of garden produce, breeders of poultry and lamb, and oysters farmers.

Join us at La Maison d’Estournel for a discovery of some of the men and women who are so passionate about cultivating and breeding on these precious terroirs.

La Maison d’Estournel’s Garden

What better place to begin our gourmet journey than the fruit and vegetable gardens of La Maison d’Estournel! Everything is cultivated according to season, from peas and carrots to leeks, citrus fruits, zucchini, and strawberries, and the majority of fruits and vegetables used in the kitchens on-site come from La Maison d’Estournel’s very own gardens.

The Poultry of Vertessec

Raised on fifty hectares of land located between the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park and the vineyards of the Médoc, the poultry of the Ferme de Vertessec is free-range and fed with local, naturel products.

The farm has succeeded at resuscitating authentic, noble breeds like Faverolles and La Dorée de Vertessec—to the delight of its customers—and these precious birds indeed merit special treatment! It is a great source of pride for breeder Michel Petit, who has specialized in raising and fattening ancient breeds of birds since 1973.

Asparagus from Saint-Laurent

Laurent and Irène Hullot began running this family-owned farm, where they sustainably grow white and green asparagus, some ten years ago.

Laurent explains, “The asparagus of the Médoc grows in black sand soils rich in organic matter that give it a very pronounced sweet flavor.” Their farm covers fifteen hectares that they tend to with utmost care—stalks are harvested by hand every morning—so that the asparagus may fully express the singularities of its terroir.

Lamb from Saint-Vivien

The wines of Pauillac are famous enough, but what about its lamb? Reared on its mother’s milk, the lamb of Pauillac is a Protected Geographical Indication known for its tender, fragrant meat. At Domaine de la Fosse, Caroline and Michel Arnould have been pursuing an age-old tradition since 2008.

Originally from Belgium, the couple arrived in France to create a grain farm before diversifying into animal breeding, and in so doing have indeed proved worthy of their excellent reputation.

Oysters and Prawns from Verdon

Jean-Marie Bertet’s twelve hectares of marshland dedicated to oyster farming can be found at the very tip of the Médoc, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde Estuary. Along with a handful of fellow aquaculturists, Jean-Marie has been a driving force in reintroducing oyster farming in the marshlands of the northern Médoc.

When tidal ranges reach their highest points, the water in the basins is renewed thanks to a system of locks, and innovative rafts maintain the bags of oysters in mid-water so the oysters have access to the best nutrients as they mature.

What is Jean-Marie’s special technique? He cultivates his oysters in the same basins as his prawns: “The prawns stay at the bottom of the basins, stirring up nutrients so they float upwards to nourish the oysters closer to the surface.

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