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“Perfection can be so dull,” quips Pierre Lurton, famed winemaker and CEO of Château d’Yquem and Château Cheval Blanc—two of the world’s most celebrated, sought-after vineyards. “Just like in a woman’s face, the charm is in the wrinkles.”
Lurton asserts that excellence lies within the imperfections, as he leads a small VIP tour through the Château Cheval Blanc estate in Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux region of France. Though while exploring the striking, state-of-the-art, twenty million dollar-plus cellar, designed by renowned architect Christian de Portzamparc and sipping a complex, opulent glass of ‘06 Cheval amid the property’s vast, sun-kissed 186-year-old hallowed ground, the experience itself couldn’t be any more foolproof.
Sixty miles to the north in Cognac, a Hennessey Ambassador takes guests on a multi-sensory journey deep into the spirit’s 253-year-old legacy. The adventure comes to a crescendo in the Founder’s Cellar, where oak barrels and dame-jeannes of the most exquisite and rarest eaux-de-vie in the world—honed from eight generations of Master Blenders (from one single family)—line the dark, cavernous, seemingly spiritual space.
Both private tours are part of the fourth installment of LVMH’s experiential series Les Journées Particulières, in which 56 of the company’s most iconic Maisons (think Givenchy, Bvlgari, Hublot, and Guerlain), open their doors to the public—many for the first time. From October 12th to the 14th, the immersive program of workshops, parties, tours, and seminars give the public a rarified peek behind the curtains of the world’s most prestigious ateliers, tanneries, perfumeries, and vineyards that span the globe from Argentina and Australia, China to Spain, and, for the first time, the United States.
The successful series began in 2011, not only giving fashion aficionados and amateur sommeliers unparalleled access but direct interaction with the creative talents and visionaries that make it all happen—many with their own bare hands. “Les Journées Particulières embodies our Houses’ hospitality and energy… our diverse heritage and extensive savoir-faire,” explains Antoine Arnault, Chief Executive Officer of Berluti, Chairman of Loro Piana, and founder of Les Journées Particulières. “This unmatched event has stepped up to the mark; each edition involves a growing number of Houses, talents, and visitors, making this 4th edition a global celebration of the world of art, and craftsmanship.”
This year, twenty-three new experiences will be unveiled, including a Louis Vuitton prototype workshop in Paris; New Zealand’s sweeping Cloudy Bay Vineyards; Germany’s must-have luggage brand Rimowa; Christian Dior’s last residence Château de la Colle Noire; and Napa Valley’s Domaine Chandon, Newton Vineyard and Colgin Cellars, a recent LVMH acquisition.
While Les Journées Particulières highlights LVMH’s expansive international range, it magnifies the fact that each Maison does indeed have its own secret sauce—a sauce steeped in centuries of storied history. In some cases, like at the Berluti manufacturing facility in Ferrare, Italy, guests get down and dirty with a hands-on workshop on the distinguished shoe’s signature patina tint. The process, perfected by Olga Berluti herself, remains a carefully guarded secret that only a “particulière” few will discover for themselves.
Guests can visit lesjourneesparticulieres.com now to create a profile and prepare for pre-registration. On September 22th and 25th, pre-registration will be open to obtaining a priority pass for one person and three guests.