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By Samantha Coles | August 20 2019
In France’s Bordeaux wine region, Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey has stood among 990 acres of vineyards since 1618 where it produces the esteemed Premier Grand Cru Classé.
The Château was acquired by another French icon, famed glass designer Lalique, and opened as a charming hotel last year. Naturally, the interiors are all Lalique and pay homage to the surrounding vineyards. To mark the Château’s 400th anniversary, Lalique created a one-of-a-kind barrique: The piece is fashioned from crystal, making it the world’s first and only completely translucent barrel.
It was two years in the making and features an engraved motif, Femme et Raisins (Woman and Grapes), which was originally created by founder René Lalique in 1928 for the woodwork on board the Côte d’Azur Pullman Express.
The etching uses the cire perdue process in which a duplicate metal sculpture is cast from an original — an ancient technique that dates back to 3,500 B.C. It can hold up to 255 liters (that’s 300 bottles) and is filled with Château Lafaurie-Premier Grand Cru Classé 2013, the first vintage that Lalique president and CEO Silvio Denz oversaw.
The barrique was created especially for the Château’s milestone anniversary, but you can commission your own vineyard-inspired crystalware — Lalique has created bespoke objects and furnishings for royal palaces and yachts in the past, including a $1m crystal staircase.