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Cheal’s Wine Journey

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Bordeaux wines, reconsidered.

‘France’s premier wine-making region produces some of the greatest vintages of all time, but it has historically not taken kindly to visitors—until now. Jean-Michel Cazes works with Stephen Bolger, the CEO and founder of VINIV, a small company that teaches clients how to create their own custom blends. The château harvests, mashes, ages, and stores the juice; the clients choose the vineyards and experiment with taste.’

Cheal’s Wine Journey

Cheal’s of Knowle have embarked on a journey to make our own wine from the fabulous vineyards of Bordeaux & to share with our wine-loving guests when our barrel is bottled & ready to savour, sometime from late 2025.  

Our amazing journey began at Cheal’s Restaurant last week where our team tasted the incredible wines sent over from France by our partner VINIV.  The grapes were harvested & the wines put in barrel in 2022 – as it turns out, one of the best vintages for decades!  We sampled 12 different grapes varietals, including 5 Merlot, 5 Cabernet Sauvignon & 2 Cabernet Franc.  Our task was to discover the distinct characteristics from each beautiful vine & imagine how they could be mixed to achieve our own specific & unique blend.

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Next, it was off to Bordeaux, to visit the vineyards & refine our wine blending!  We departed from Biggin Hill & arrived at Château Lynch-Bages within a few short hours.  The next day, our team spent a remarkable day tasting & blending some of the finest wines in the world, a truly one-off & wonderful experience!  Aided by the outstanding Daniel Llose (head wine maker for the Cazes family estates) we eventually narrowed our grape choices down to two potential blends.  We spent the evening dining at the beautiful Château & opining over the incredible wines & our blending choices!

Our next task is to refine our choices even further & in January 2024 we will be sampling what will hopefully be our finished product.   After that, our wine will be blended & bottled later next year.  From then on, all we need, & more importantly, all our wine needs, is time to mature!!  

We can’t wait to share this magnificent wine with our guests from 2025

The art of Bordeaux winemaking


The winemaking process in Bordeaux flawlessly merges artistry with scientific precision. Every appellation is unique – from its soil types and microclimate to the people working the land – requiring a variety of approaches to viticulture, harvest and fermentation. Moreover, virtually all Bordeaux wines are blends of different grape varietals. There is a true art to the blending process which involves tasting, experimenting and adjustments until a wine’s aromatics, balance and flavour are just right.

Bordeaux winemaking is bound by strict rules and traditions. Châteaux owners are, for example, confined to using grapes from their own property only. With our partner VINIV, we have managed to ditch parts of the unspoken rulebook and blend across appellations and across the region’s Left and Right Banks. Blending grapes from different appellations may be taboo to Bordeaux traditionalists, but VINIV winemaking, like Cheal’s, is all about experimentation, flair and daring to be different.



VINIV winemakers gain the kind of access to Bordeaux that usually only members of its community are afforded. Our journey began at VINIV’s winery located alongside Château Lynch-Bages, in the beautiful village of Bages a few minutes from the Pauillac waterfront.

Vineyards, Châteaux and Appellations


Our wine will be made using grapes from the finest old-vine vineyards Bordeaux has to offer. Some of these vineyards belong to classified growths: Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac, Château Clinet in Pomerol and Château Dauzac are some examples. Other parcels belong to passionate small-scale growers whose properties sit directly alongside classified properties in Margaux, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac and Saint-Émilion.

Viniv have carefully chosen their partnerships to ensure that the grapes available to its winemakers offer contrasting characteristics, thus giving us countless options when developing our wine. We have also met local growers & experts who have shared their knowledge, gained from decades (and generations) of winemaking, in order to help us select the grapes that will make our wine truly unique.

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