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Not one of the 20 columns has triggered so many reactions as my "Farewell to Bordeaux"; and none has been clicked on so often in such a short time, twenty thousand times. When I sum up the letters to the editor, the private mails, the animated discussion in the forum, three different points of view become visible.

Myth Bordeaux: Sunset at the Atlantic Ocean

There are all those who want to comfort me (and themselves!): "...I can well understand how it looks in you. The great Bordeaux depression has taken hold of me too..." And many a consolation ends up in philosophical dimensions: "Where does love go when it goes?" Yes, if I knew? Perhaps those who now suggest alternatives can help: "...off to the South of France, on a treasure hunt...". I'm already in the south of France, with my whole heart, as a person many weeks a year. I might even dare to cheat with a "...trip to Piedmont and Burgundy, but please stick to the classics, because at least those aren't one-night-stands that you regret...."

A third group unabashedly invokes the "sacred laws" of the market "...demand is extremely high relative to supply = prices soar." That's just the way it is in this world and its well-rehearsed order: "...three percent of the upper class has always been produced by capitalism...."

Advertising for "Bordeaux 2005":Myth Bordeaux

No, I am not whining that I am not part of this "upper class". Even if I have so far imagined to participate at least "Bordeaux-wise" a very little bit. Ephemeral dreams of man, inevitably associated with major or minor crash landings!

Apparently, many wine lovers feel the same way, because I am greeted, "...welcome to the club, I could never afford these wines before..." As a media person, I know all too well that "dreams" can be marketed well. Dreams become myths, myth: Bordeaux is one of them. According to American mythologist Joseph Campbell: "The material of myth is the material of life, of our bodies and our environment." Myths are powerful, live long, are hardly ever questioned, often seem anarchic - and yet they are mortal.

The myth of Bordeaux is also mortal. It is based on many legends and facts. For example, it is said to be "the epitome and yardstick for quality wine worldwide", says the advertising. Gone: the Bordelais has long since lost this myth (or at least shares it with other wine regions!).

Wine processing in the Châteaux: "Haut-Brion"

Or, there is also the myth of the generations of winegrowers who have been producing great wines from their own soil for centuries. Gone: at least in the case of the great growths that are the basis of the Bordeaux myth. There, financial and capital forces have long since taken a seat.

Or the myth of the beautiful wine landscape, of the nature that lets the wine mature to the highest pleasure. Gone: without high-tech vinification, nature is "processed" in a clinically clean way. And where there is still a little bit of landscape, roads and highways sprawl through the middle of the wine landscape.

Or: the myth of the stately "castle" (Châteaux, in the common sense). There, castle-like magnificent buildings were witnesses of the greatness and importance of the most famous Bordeaux vintners. Gone: Hardly any of these buildings are still inhabited, many are crumbling, others are being spruced up and used for representation.

Wine myth: commercial value around 6'000

And yet it is the myth of "Bordeaux" that continues to move the wine world. Even if some things are crumbling and dilapidated. The myth is not truth. Not even the myth of Bordeaux. The fact that it lives on is shown by the great interest and the reactions of many column readers.

In the Bordelais, however, the forces are reshaping themselves into a new myth, that of "inaccessibility". Next to power, it is probably the most reliable myth of our time. Drinking a "Pétrus" once in a lifetime, storing a few bottles of "Ausone 2005" in the cellar, waiting for Latour 2005 to mature..... All this is almost unattainable for the wine lover who does not belong to the "upper class". So Bordeaux just gets a new myth: market price called! Yes, it boosts business (many of the highest Bordeaux values are already sold out!) and replaces what the myth of terroir, wine region, winegrower, nature etc. has lost in the Bordelais.

Fairytale castle? Pichon-Longueville Baron

There is little to be said against that. Only: my myths are just not (anymore)! And because I love wine - not wine value - I will continue to write a column about wine, drink a good wine every day (including Bordeaux!) and believe in myths. Although I know that the one who relies on myths is easily manipulated.

Peter (Züllig)

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