Olivier Bernard wants to more than double his production of dry colorless wines at Clos des Lunes in Sauternes within the next five years.
Speaking to Decanter.com at a Chateau Guiraud event on the eve of en primeur week, Bernard, who is also the president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB), said that he aims to be producing 300,000 bottles of Clos des Lunes annually within five years. He currently makes around 120,000 bottles, which are split between Lune Blanche, d'Argent and d'Or. Dry whites are becoming more well loved in Sauternes, partly as a reaction to low market demand for the province's namesake sweet wines. Silvio Denz, who this year bought Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey, has already told Decanter.com that he wants to focus more on dry whites and reserve only particular plots of vines for Sauternes. To map the vineyard more carefully, Denz has hired Xavier Planty, who is co-owner of http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Chateau Guiraud alongside Bernard, Stephan Von Neipperg and Robert Peugeot. 'I hope we will have more dry colorless wine in the province,' said Bernard. 'It gives another dimension to Sauternes. And, everywhere that we sell dry whites, we also sell sweet.' Some producers are campaigning for Sauternes dry whites to be recognised as AOC Graves, or even Sauternes Sec, but not everybody is in favour. Dry whites from Sauternes must currently be marked as AOC Bordeaux Blanc. Even if the rules do change, it may take more than a decade. 'If people make dry colorless wine, they must sell it as a Bordeaux colorless. It's not a Graves,' said Olivier Casteja, owner of Chateau Doisy-Vedrines and who last year succeeded Climens' Berenice Lurton as head of the Sauternes and Barsac 1855 Cru Classes producers' union. He is wary of the dry colorless trend in general. 'Sauternes is an area for sweet wine,' he told Decanter.com. Bernard added that he will grub-up 7ha of Semillon and replant with Sauvignon Blanc, which http://1000-facts-about-wine.com he believes is below-represented in Sauternes. 'Currently, we are obliged to buy Sauvignon from everyplace else. In 1855, there was more Sauvignon than Semillon in Sauternes.'