As a testament to the chateau’s commitment to lowering its carbon footprint, 20,000 bottles of Smith Haut Lafitte are due to begin their journey from Bordeaux to Montreal on July 21 not by the usual container ship, but by a 106 year old British sailing ship called Bessie Ellen. Bessie Ellen will take the bottles on a slower and more expensive path than usual, but the owner and shipping company cite several benefits to this alternate method. Owner Daniel Cathiard believes that winery clients will appreciate the reduced environmental impact, and the shipping company, CTMV, claims that in a blind tasting wines that crossed the ocean by sailing ship showed better than those that went by container due to a perceived one year increase in age.
Though CTMV plans to make this a regular route, it is not yet clear how many other wineries will jump on board. However, if the increase in cost becomes a factor, the chateau could always consider selling spots on the ship to connoisseurs interested in “monitoring” the progress of the wine during the trip.