Cos d' Estournel pays tribute to the female winegrowers of WWI

Friday January 26 2018 by Vitisphere

The First World War was so deadly that it stripped the French countryside of its much-needed work force, forcing women to run the day-to-day business of many wine estates. They also ensured the properties would survive past the war. To pay tribute to this little-known part of history, in 2015 Cos d'Estournel produced wines from a single-vineyard selection of grapes from the "women's parcel", culminating in the COS100 label.

Planted in 1915, the Merlot vines attest to the involvement of female winegrowers in maintaining a supply of wine, which had become a staple in the soldiers' food rations. “By creating COS100, I wanted to pay homage to the land and women of Cos d' Estournel who, more than a hundred years ago, planted these vines and thus ensured the property’s future”, summed up owner Michel Reybier at the chateau.

 

Direct sales and auctions

 

In a bid to make the wines doubly historic, they are made on an extremely boutique scale of just two casks. All in all, just 10 balthazars and 100 double-magnums (equating to 10 and 3 litres of wine respectively) of COS100 will be released.

The 100 double-magnums will be sold at Cos d' Estournel (prices on request), whilst two charity auctions will be held in conjunction with Sotheby’s. Two balthazars will be put up for sale in New York on February 28 and Hong Kong on March 10 with proceeds going to the NGO Elephant Family, which protects elephants in their natural habitat. The initiative is a nod to the elephants and Oriental-style pagodas that have been a distinctive feature of Cos d' Estournel since its creation in 1791 by Louis-Gaspard d' Estournel.

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