Giovanni Curcio, Head Sommelier at La Table D’Agassac

Château D’Agassac welcomes almost 6,000 visitors yearly, attracted by the moated castle whose history can be dated back to the 13th-century. For over 10 years, the estate has increased tourist numbers, via tours such as wine and chocolate tastings and the innovative use of iPads to engage with younger visitors.  

At la Table D’Agassac, Château D'Agassac's Restaurant, the Head-Sommelier is in commands

Not surprising then that in 2015, Director Jean-Luc Zell was motivated to provide extra enticement for visitors in the form of a restaurant – La Table D’Agassac. Situated in the ground floor of Château D'Agassac, it is open for lunch and dinner 7 days except Sunday evening. Unlike other restaurants which boast about their chef, here the sommelier rules,  not least due to the importance accorded to the matching the menu with some of the 400 wine references available.

At La Table D’Agassac, Giovanni Curcio tells us:

What attracted you to this project?

Before arriving at Agassac, I had worked in London and Paris including some time at the Parisian outpost of Anne-Sophie Pic (La Dame de Pic). During a visit to the Médoc in 2014, I was immediately taken by the beauty of the estate and  its wines but also Jean-Luc’s vision for a restaurant where wine would play the starring role. It was not a difficult decision to move here and La Table D’Agassac opened in June 2015.

The menu changes daily, varying by season and what the market provides and customers are unaware what they will eat before the plates arrive on the table! I adapt the wine offering to match the menu and propose a different glass for each course. Thanks to the Coravin system, we can pour a large number of wines, without opening the bottle. The wine list reflects our location but also international producers, many of whom I know personally. Also, due to my Italian heritage and the Japanese nationality of Chef Yujiro Ouchi, the cuisine has some international flavors such as the yuzu citrus fruit.

Table Agassac - Giovanni Curcio  
Table Agassac - plat et verre  
Table Agassac - terrasse  
Table Agassac - sucré  

In your opinion, what are the advantages of the region?

The Médoc is such an important region for wine production and its influence is felt by other producers worldwide, making it more than just an ordinary tourist attraction. As well as the great wines, it is a source of excellent ingredients, most of which we source locally for our kitchen.

 

What would you advise visitors to see and do in the Médoc?

 A drive along the D2, La Route des Châteaux, travelling through appellations such as Margaux, Saint-Julien and Pauillac never fails delight, making sure of course to make a detour to Château D’Agassac, to discover the fairytale château, history and wine.

Table Agassac - table terrasse  
CCV Centre  

When your friends come to the region, where do you take them? What are the must-see places?

So far I’ve had little time to welcome friends due to my dedication to the restaurant and the recent birth of my daughter but when they do come, I will suggest a visit to Bordeaux and the Cité du Vin.

 

What other vineyard areas do you recommend visiting in France and abroad?

Cognac for its history and unrivalled eaux de vie; Napa Valley, California, to see what man can achieve in a short period of winemaking; Tuscany for its gastronomy and wine and Porto for is hills and immortal wines.