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Despite his training and success as a cooper, Henri Martin's heart was not in barrelmaking. So, starting in 1939, he left to become a winegrower. His lifelong ambition was to create a new estate, Château Gloria - a monumental undertaking! Plot by plot, vine row after vine row, he patiently and systematically purchased vineyard land from his friends and neighbours in the commune of Saint-Julien to form Château Gloria.
This included many vines from classified growth estates. Indeed, this was quite a feat considering that Saint-Julien has only 900 hectares of vines, consisting almost entirely of land belonging to the appellation's eleven great growths. Henri Martin's new estate was created in the 1970s, attaining an area of 50 hectares. Château Gloria is therefore the story of one man's passion for vines and wine. Although the history of famous châteaux of Bordeaux generally goes back hundreds of years, Gloria is an exception. Its existence is due to the determination of one man in the late 20th century, and it has already established a sterling reputation.
Once the grapes have been picked by hand, the harvest is vinified in the traditional way in heat-regulated stainless steel vats, in order to produce truly exceptional wines which can be laid down for a long time. The wine then spends 14 months being aged in casks, with an average of 40% of them being replaced every year.
In Bordeaux, the heat resulted in early flowering. Also, this led to an early harvest after a very hot summer. As a starting point, there is great maturity in the grapes, and one can expect a more opulent vintage than in the last few years.
The summer this year has been the warmest since 1959, yet the rain has fallen at the right times during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will yield grapes with high potential alcohol and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: "It has been a good and extreme growing season which hopefully also produces great wines".