Who Bought the World’s Most Impressive Collection of Wine Books? Château Haut-Brion’s Owner

In April 2022, Sonoma-based mostly antiquarian bookseller Ben Kinmont oversaw the sale of the Thackrey Library, a important assortment of extra than 700 tomes and files assembled by California winemaker Sean Thackrey. Regrettably, Thackrey passed away soon just after the assortment bought for $two million to an undisclosed customer. It was discovered this thirty day period that the customer was, in actuality, Domaine Clarence Dillon, the father or mother organization of various main Bordeaux estates, which includes initially-advancement Château Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Quintus.

&#x201CThrough its enviable standing at the coronary heart of the worlds of gastronomy and wine, Ch&#xE2teau Haut-Brion is as related and current currently … as the wines have been in excess of millennia,&#x201D Domaine Clarence Dillon chairman and CEO Prince Robert de Luxembourg defined to Wine Spectator by way of e-mail. &#x201CThe library that we have constituted in excess of the previous a long time is as a great deal a reflection of Haut-Brion’s DNA as the estate is a privileged protagonist in quite a few of the tales and files that grace our cabinets.&#x201D

The Thackrey Library (a part of which is obtainable to study on the web) is made up largely of texts centered on winemaking, grapegrowing and gastronomy, which includes Bordeaux-relevant operates like M. Paguierre&#x2019s Mani&#xE8re de Faire le Vin (Fashion of Earning the Wine), released all over 1828. Things span millennia, with quite a few released in advance of 1600 and the earliest courting to the sixth century. It is, entirely, an unmatched assortment that evidently interprets Thackrey&#x2019s enthusiasm and curiosity, and it stays really beneficial the two to historians and vintners. So it is no surprise that a main wine producer would get recognize when the library arrived up for sale at the New York Global Antiquarian Reserve Good.

Haut-Brion now homes the Thackrey Library, incorporating to its presently large assortment of some three,000 guides, which includes signed editions composed by &#x201Cthe king of cooks and the chef of kings&#x201D Antonin Motor vehicle&#xEAme, extra than 300 menus (quite a few from royal f&#xEAtes) and 100 benchmark wine lists. There are also letters and manuscripts from historic figures these kinds of as Thomas Jefferson (who visited Haut-Brion in 1787) and Claude Monet, or critical archives concerning Haut-Brion, itself.

The Thackrey assortment of guides and other products will now be additional to Haut-Brion&#x2019s presently large assortment of some three,000 guides. (Courtesy Domaine Clarence Dillon)

In truth, Haut-Brion has been house to various ebook collectors in excess of the hundreds of years, which includes Renaissance-period bishop Arnaud II de Pontac and famed 19th-century politician, diplomat and Motor vehicle&#xEAme benefactor Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-P&#xE9rigord, who represented France in the course of the Congress of Vienna that adopted Napoleon Bonaparte&#x2019s pressured abdication.

That enthusiasm for guides life on less than Prince Robert&#x2019s management. As portion of a sustainability-centered renovation-building challenge led by architect Annabelle Selldorf, established to end in 2026, Haut-Brion is setting up a new library to property quite a few of its texts. &#x201CWe experience incredibly lucky to be the guardians of this freshly constituted treasure,&#x201D reported Prince Robert. &#x201Deal with the many years forward, we glimpse ahead to consistently sharing things of its contents with other folks that share our enthusiasm.&#x201D

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