Château Pichon-Baron: Christian Seely

It was at this point that Jean-Michel Cazes retired from his work at Château Pichon-Baron, his replacement being Christian Seely (pictured below), the son of the renowned wine merchant and author James Seely. By this point, the reputation of Château Pichon-Baron had already been restored, nevertheless Christian was not happy stopping at a level where the wines were merely ‘very good’. He continued to push and refine, improving quality wherever possible. All the ‘easy’ and obvious developments had already been put in place, however, and working at this level requires significant investment even to attain very small increments in quality. Nevertheless that was what was undertaken by Christian Seely and AXA Millésimes, the focus of attention being the chai once more, previously refurbished in 1991.

Château Pichon-Baron

This time, however, the chai wasn’t just renovated, it was completely rebuilt, using a design by architects Patrick Dillon and Jean de Gastines, after the pair won a competition for the best design. The new buildings (one of which is pictured on the previous page, although it has since been modernised) face each other across the pool in front of the château, and yet they did not detract from the grand château as, in a triumph of sensitivity in architecture, they are sunk into the ground. The work was completed in 1991.

The estate has subsequently had at least two major overhauls.

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