Art exhibitions in the Bordeaux wineries: 5 senses

Bouquet, fruit, nose, colour, legs, brilliance, roundness, balance, etc… there exists a rich wine vocabulary for expressing the nuances that arise in wine tasting. However, the awakening of the senses doesn’t stop at the glass and its contents. A subtle harmony has developed over the centuries between soils, landscapes, human experience, care for the vine and cultivating it, creating a blend between nature and culture.

Many wine estates highlight this connection by inviting artists onto their properties and displaying their work through outstanding art exhibitions.

Chasse Spleen: an art center in the Médoc

The owners of this jewel of the Moulis appellation are knowledgeable art lovers. Their collection can be viewed between the park and the cellar, which has been reworked by Felice Varini. For two years now, the owner’s cultural ambition has been firmly stated with the opening of an art center. This summer, alongside his first monograph exhibition in Bordeaux’s CAPC Musée d’Art contemporain, the keys have been handed to Benoît Maire for an exhibition that brings together around 15 contemporary works. The exhibition ‘Le préfixe conceptuel de l’art romantique’ (“The conceptual prefix of Romantic art”), dead nature mixes with conceptual art, evoking a “defeat for the senses [...] in total transparency”.

Château Chasse Spleen centre d'art contemporain  

Exposition d’art à ciel ouvert au Château d'Arsac

As one of the forerunners in revamping the wine tourism industry, since the renovation of its winery- it was painted electric blue in 1988 - Château d'Arsac has amassed the most famous contemporary art collection in a Bordeaux château, comprised of works by Buraglio, Viallat, Niki de St Phalle, Folon, Bernar Venet, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, César and more.

Château d'Arsac l'art à ciel ouvert  

Smith Haut Lafitte: art exhibition into the forest

The family presiding over Château Smith Haut Lafitte’s destiny is at the midst of a great entrepreneurial adventure. Adjoined to this Graves grand cru classé, Les Sources de Caudalie is one of only 24 French establishments in its category and the only one located in the heart of a wine estate. It is home to two restaurants, one of which has two Michelin stars, while the spa promotes the benefits of “vinotherapy” and products from the Caudalie laboratory.

The wine growing element is just as accessible to the public with a large range of tours and tastings on offer, from exploring the cellars, the fermenting room and the traditional cooperage to sharing in the daily life of a vineyard manager: an opportunity to go deep into the new technologies used in wine cultivation, known here as “bio-precision”.

Tours end with the "Senses Forest, which invites visitors onto a bucolic and sensitive journey through animal enclosures, fragrance-filled gardens and forests spread over eight hectares, punctuated with works of art that have been conceived or adapted in-situ. These works were intended as an opportunity for young, contemporary artists- often from Bordeaux- to express themselves in response to the pieces by international artists that surround Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Les Sources de Caudalie (César, Barry Flanagan, Huang Yong Ping, Ernesto Neto, etc.).

Exposition d'art au Château Smith Haut Lafitte