Chateau Lynch-Bages: the genuine care, vision and legacy of a very special family


As I may have told you before (can’t remember), there are about 11 000 wineries (châteaux) in the Bordeaux wine region. As you may also have picked up, my dad was a wine merchant for 60 years. When asked, out of these 11 000, what his favorite wine is, his only answer is: Château Lynch Bages in Pauillac!


Today’s story starts a few months back.

As I was driving through the Médoc wine region (the vineyards located North of Bordeaux city where the famous Latour and Margaux wineries are), I stopped for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants: le Lion d’Or. Lamb being a local specialty, I ordered some chops in a garlic and rosemary reduction. The chops came with fried potatoes. The dish and its side looked so pretty that I had to share a snapshot of it on Instagram (shot below). A few minutes passed and along with a few likes, a comment came up. The person wrote: “The Gold Lion, the best fried potatoes in the Medoc”. I was stunned! How could someone know in which restaurant I was just by looking at a plate of fries?! I answered the comment of course and understood that this anonymous reader was in fact the daughter of the owner of the legendary Château Lynch Bages. Her name is Kinou Cazes. She lives in NYC, but we agreed to meet the next time she’d come home to France.


Fast forward to about a month ago when I took Mimi and Gabriella to visit Lynch Bages. They had a tour of the winery, we had lunch at the bistro and I posted a photo of it on Instagram. New comment: “It’s me, Kinou, I’m home. I’ll be down in a few minutes.” And that’s how I finally got to meet the fabulous Kinou in the flesh. She gave me a copy of the beautiful cookbook she’d just published and promised she’d visit me on her next trip to St Emilion…

I visited Lynch-Bages again last week and was able to spend some time with Marina this time (Kinou’s sister) and Tristane (Director of Sales and Marketing). Mr. Cazes joined us for dessert. He is the owner of Lynch Bages and he is Kinou and Marina’s dad. He owns 3 châteaux in Bordeaux (including Ormes de Pez pictured somewhere here as well) and several other properties including one in Provence where he produces his own olive oil.

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Mr. Cazes is an incredible person. A true renaissance man. And although he is over 70 now, his passion drives him, his family and his many employees alike. He is passionate about wine of course, but also about architecture and history and art in all its forms. His collection of paintings and objects from all around the world is on display around the châteaux and everywhere in the village of Bages. The African painter and sculptor, Barthélémy Toguo was having his artwork shown that very same evening at the château.

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Anyway, I’ve lost my train of thought… Oh yes: legendary château, amazing family, superb food from Chef Jean Luc Rocha and a very special hotel at Cordeillan Bages on the other side of the village. I know I am repeating myself, but you guys HAVE GOT to come visit. If you like great food and wine, this is definitely one place you cannot afford to miss!

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45 Comments Add yours

  1. Emilio Pasquale says:

    You mentioned St Emilion. Don’t know why but ever since I was first introduced to fine wines (we’ve had some great first growths in the past) but I always favored St. Emilion wines. Something about the spiciness, or lack of. Do you have any posts concerning this area or wine? Oh, never mind, I can do a search. Just wanted you to know I enjoyed this post and am now following you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Hi Emilio, No I don’t write much about wine, but St Emilion wines (as well as Pomerol and Médoc) are recognized as some of the best wines in the world. By their price alone, one can see how high people’s interest in them is. Glad you enjoy it as well!

  2. reinetteanastagi says:

    What a lovely article. Would love to visit! Next time I am in France.

  3. terrepruitt says:

    Oh how fun! Social media at its finest! Lucky you!

    Beautiful pictures as always, Dear!

    1. My French Heaven says:


  4. I am completely enamored! Yes, you will be contacted when we finally make the “journey” overseas!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You’d better! 😜☺️

  5. Andrea says:

    Oh, did the Caze’s mention the beer project? They posted a barley field on instagram. I was perplexed, but I am sure their beer will be good too.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      They didn’t, but Mr. Cazes is so passionate and creative that I wouldn’t be surprized if he had’t thought of such a fun project …

  6. Vinny Grette says:

    We had a lovely family vacation on Ile de re. It is a unique spot with its miles of beaches and bike paths through the marshes and fields. We are now basking in Juan de Pins, on our way to Cinque Terre. Next time in France i,ll make a harder effort to stop for a visit. You certainly do make your own corner of France sound appealing:). All the best … Sharon

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I really hope I get to meet you too someday!

  7. Stephane, what a great post and the photos are out of this world! Hope to see you again soon, and I look forward to getting some pointers on off the beaten path Saint Emilion area. Keep well and traveling. A bientot, Tristane

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m so glad you liked the photos dear Tristane. I had such a great time that day. Thanks again for the warm welcome! I will send you more pictures by Retransfer later today! 🙂

  8. Great post Stéphane, I especially like your portraits of the artist, really excellent!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear Jane. Portraits are my favorite thing to do. I’d take some every day if I could… It’s the Annie Leibovitz in me… 😉

      1. I so agree with you Stéphane! I would too but it’s difficult up here on my hillside – only the cats and dogs most of the time 😀

  9. miky says:

    These kind of magic meeting really happen & you feel as blessed ! and I think we are , from a picture someone recognize where you are & then …voilà the person is in front of you sharing all her goodies & beauties of the estate.
    Life is about enjoying these meeting as feeling being part of a perfect circle in which wishes come true & I am sure your father knows it & smiles at you 😍😍😍❤️

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Miky! Yes, I do believe in magic. And just when you think the whole world and all the people in it is going to hell, something magical happens that brings your faith back…

  10. ladyredspecs says:

    You lead a charmed life Stephane, beautiful subjects to photograph, food, wine, enviroment and people,

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Don’t be fooled dear Sandra. I have to deal with my load of crap like everybody else… which makes these kind of encounters even more special. Remember what Dolly said: can’t have rainbows if you can’t put up with the rain… Have a lovely day Sandra!

  11. Angeline M says:

    What a wonderful coincidence to meet someone through Instagram this way. And you have made me very hungry!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Good! That’s what I’m here for. Mission accomplished 😉 Have a lovely day dear Angeline!

  12. Angelina Hue says:

    Wow, such a lovely coincidence. Great story Stephane and those fries look delicious!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You know me Angelina. I’d do just about anything for a good plate of fries 😉

  13. You do know how to live well! Now I’m trying to find Kinou on instagram to see the photos. Of course there is more than one! Sigh.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It’s kinoucaz 😉

  14. sabine says:

    Among all others, Le lion d´or sounds like another good reason to visit Médoc – Love your vintage-y photos!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Sabine! I like the vintage look too. It makes everything look softer I find… Have a lovely evening!

  15. It’s always a joy to see a post notification from you in my email. The lamb and chips have me salivating. We had the best chips of this sort that we’ve ever had in a tiny town in SW South Dakota at a small bar where we had dinner the night before Bill started his bike ride on the Michelson Trail. (You’ll be reading about it on my blog these next days.) The beer and burger were very good, but the chips were marvelous. But now I’m wandering. Thanks for another beautiful post and photos that make me want to work harder on my photography. I just finished watching all 8 stages of the Dauphine (not in one day) and am now officially read for le Tour. 🙂


    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you dear Janet! And burger and fries before a ride? That’s the way to do it!! 😉

      1. The burger and fries were after the ride each night, but much enjoyed no matter when.


  16. Andrea says:

    Hello Stephane, Did you enjoy the artist’s work? Some of it looks dark and then the lizard piece looks very whimsical. I too follow Kinou on Instagram, thought you two already knew each other. What did you have for dessert with Mr. Cazes?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was a little dark I agree but quite inspiring in real life! Therés a picture of the dessert in the post. It was delicious but I couldn’t tell you exactly what was in it besides berries, mousse and a grapefruit base…

  17. Carl Johnson says:

    Great places and wine! I love both restaurants. Ormes de Pez is also a great place to stay in the Medoc.
    I will be passing thru St Emillion with my family on 23 July on the way to the Dordogne. Would it be possible to do a short tour of the city just before lunch? We will have 2 children (5,8) with us. If not what restaurant do you recommend.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Hi, yes, I’ll be so happy to see you! Give me a quick call or e-mail me a week or so before and wéll figure something out. See you soon!

      1. Carl Johnson says:


  18. BJ Ralston says:

    Always a special day when I see your posts. Question: what is the picture of the little village-y looking thing after the pic of Mr. Cazes with the wedding couple?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh no, I forgot to explain: it is a sculpture of the village Mr. Cazes had made of the village. It is installed in the center square of the village… Thanks for your lovely comment BJ! Always so so appreciated!

  19. Nadia says:

    What a treat to meet this family. The meal looks amazing.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It really was Nadia. Very contemporary yet so wholesome…

  20. Stunning photo’s and how lucky to visit the Chateau and meet the family.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Truly inspiring in every way. The wines, the people, the food… One of the daughters has been living and raising her family in NYC for the past 20 years! Good people always seem to end up in your neck of the woods 😜

      1. That’s wonderful you have to let me know when you will be in NYC again.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I will for sure!

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