La Grace Dieu Des Prieurs: Art meets wine in St Emilion

The Noble Miner by NN GerasimenyaBrilliance at chess and its seemingly endless reserves of raw materials are two of Russia’s principal but wildly contrasting characteristics. So diverse are they, in fact, that it is not often someone comes along that embodies them both. As President of the Russian Chess Federation and Chairman of the Tuloma investment company Andrey Filatov is one such person and much more besides; through the Art Russe foundation that he set up in 2012 to develop a greater understanding of Soviet art, he is now also trying to promote another Russian tradition that dates back even further than the Russian Revolution – a love of wine.
It is, of course, a passion that he and his compatriots share with the sons and daughters of an earlier Revolution – the one that helped define modern-day France; and, in his desire to advertise the merits of Russian 20th century art, Filatov decided to acquire La Grace Dieu Des Prieurs chateau and its vineyards that perch on a rocky limestone hillside on the crossroads between Bordeaux and Saint Emilion.
Grace Dieu Des Prieurs chateauAfter investing an undisclosed but undoubtedly substantial sum in its Girondine mansion, its grape cultivating and winemaking facilities – which today come complete with a cylindrical fermenting chamber featuring an image of astronaut Yuri Gagarin in zero gravity – the terroir now regularly produces vintages of the highest quality.
Ultimately, the success of the project is down to the effective combination of tradition and modernity and Filatov’s commitment to the preservation of the continuity of French winemaking. The art of vine management at the château is based on the principle of reasonable production and takes into account the cycles of nature, time and climate as a matter of course. Each stage of the process involves careful soil management and delicate introduction of modern equipment and the latest developments in lean farming and bilateral cordon pruning have also been adopted.
As for the packaging, Filatov has opted for green glass bottles inspired by Russian ancestral traditions and labels decorated with the Art Russe collection’s outstanding example of ‘socialist realism.’
Filatov’s success in cross-marketing Russian art and French wine is typical of the nose for business that he has shown time and again throughout his career. but it is not always just about money with Filatov, as his decision to set up Art Russe six years ago proves. Since then, the foundation has grown into one of the foremost private collections of Russian and Soviet art from between 1917 and 1991 and has seen some of its portfolio displayed in several international institutions including the Louvre in Paris – as well as, of course, on the labels of thousands of bottle of Grand cru French wine.