You wouldn’t find it by accident although this year they’ve put up a sign at the crossroads. Tucked away from the traffic and bustle of Saint Emilion is the tiny winery of Pierre de Lune. You arrive at the back of this quaintly peculiar property owned by Tony and Véronique Balu. Tony, originally from Champagne, works as Technical Director at the famous Château Clos Fourtet. His real passion though is to escape back to this little vineyard that reminds us of Mr. Wemmick’s house in Great Expectations (the last time I visited there was even an ‘Aged Parent’). There’s no drawbridge and the Aged P has now moved to an old folks’ home but Tony still comes home to his little ‘castle’ – a dinky Girondine farm house and a hectare of grand cru vines. Vines whose grapes are transformed through Tony’s painstaking work into an internationally acclaimed wine. Tony has always paid rigorous attention to ripening and selecting perfect fruit for his wines and has recently begun to employ biodynamic techniques too. Véronique, a charming Parisienne, has turned the upstairs of the property into bed & breakfast accommodation. The rooms are right above the fermenting vats in the winery below – this is one place where you’re definitely sleeping over the wines. Dinner is served in a wonderful high-ceilinged dining room that originally housed a sleeping army of barrels. Véronique cooks a delicious meal with estate wines to match each course. Magret de canard, grilled over a fire of vine cuttings, makes a fitting match with the top wine Pierre de Lune. Tony will give you a tour of the winery and a sneak preview of the latest vintage gently developing in new oak. This mysterious, eclectic property and its outstanding wine – only a couple of thousand bottles of which are made each year – are well worth seeking out.
Château Pierre de Lune, 3 Magnan 33330 Saint Emilion. +33 (0)5 57 74 49 72