Les Sources de Caudalie
Vinotherapy: The Amazing Power of the Grape
by Michèle Serre
The traveller is welcomed to the southern-French style country house, a long building with a central tower and windows that offer a panorama over the rolling vine-covered land. We’re in the heart of Château Smith Haut Lafitte’s property, just a short distance from Bordeaux and the Garonne, under the ever-changing Aquitaine sky, where vines are the architects of the landscape and where the stones are the diamonds of the Graves region’s soil.
You’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of drinking a glass of wine a day, but you may be surprised to learn how many riches are hidden in a tiny grape seed. Its secret? Polyphenols, substances rich in vitamin E, that have the power to strengthen the skin’s natural protective factors and to effectively fight off free radicals which are 80% responsible for aging. By successfully stabilizing these molecules in the 1990s, Professor Joseph Vercauteren opened the door to a new art of body care.
The treatments lavished on you in this spa will take you on flights of
fancy: a wine barrel bath, a crushed Cabernet scrub, a Sauvignon massage … But make no mistake: you won’t be lounging in a tub of the region’s grands crus – those are reserved for dinner!
Here the ancient natural hot spring, 540 metres below the surface, rich in sulfur, fluorine and iron, gushes forth onto the château’s property at a temperature close to 34° C. All the treatments combine the hydrating and firming effects of this water with active ingredients like finely-crushed fresh grape extracts, grape seed oil, wine yeasts, red vine extracts, tannins…
The vinotherapy takes place in a setting of modern red cedar architecture (inspired by traditional tobacco-drying buildings) which, with its louvred shutters and wide patio, captures the perfect angle of the sun. Here you can be massaged by the jets of the main pool and wear off those extra pounds. Bask in the sun while sipping a red vine infusion, as you let your gaze wander over pines and cypress trees. Why not try a Merlot wrap – a hot application of clay, bentonite and organic essential oils; an “intoxicating massage”; or a Sauvignon scrub using grape seeds, honey and organic essential oils that is both relaxing and invigorating.
You can also slip into a hydro-massage bath of natural hot spring water and essential red vine extracts… or make your skin satiny with a honey and wine wrap that uses grape seed oil, honey and ten plant extracts… or a Vrilles de Vigne drainage treatment that uses gentle massage and pressure on the lymph nodes to improve lymphatic circulation and decongest the tissues.
Finally, the most playful of treatments is the wine-barrel bath, in which you immerse yourself in a blend of natural hot spring water and fresh finely-crushed grape extracts, to emerge with velvety soft skin.
Here your body can drink in 100% natural elixirs: wine yeast, clay, Gironde honey, grape seed oils and other essential oils. The effects are numerous:
slimming, relaxation, hydration and improved circulation. Every treatment helps cleanse the tissues by draining and eliminating water.
The Grape Cure
If you’ve declared war on cellulite, this fall why not try the grape cure: grapes, and nothing but grapes, for 3 to 6 days to give you healthier skin and a clearer complexion while detoxifying your body.
A survey of 500 people done in 1990 by the Terre Vivante association showed that the grape cure seems to be a unique way of revitalizing our bodies which are constantly assaulted by stress and thousands of pollutants. “Great shape, amazing tone, energy, bliss, well-being…”: these are some of the words used to describe the experience by those who have been here. Ninety per cent of those who complained of fatigue before the cure noted an improvement, often a dramatic one, in their condition.
This unique cure is offered only during the grape harvest season, from September until the end of October. It’s also the time when the vines take on their fall colours and when everything comes to life in the wine warehouses. It’s a special chance to enter into harmony with nature, while being pampered by beguiling spa treatments that will make you swoon!
To find out more about grapes' properties, click here
Hôtel Les Sources de Caudalie
Situated amidst the famous vineyards of the Graves region, the complex offers various accommodation options: the Bastide des Grands Crus, graced with a central tower that recalls the “fermes-bastides” of southern France, in which everyone room pays tribute to those, from coopers to collectors, who share a passion for wine; La Maison du Lièvre, or the “hare’s house,”
oriented towards nature, located between the lake and the kitchen garden; le Comptoir des Indes; the cabin on the Ile aux Oiseaux, built on stilts; and La Grange au Bateau, reflecting the world of water so prevalent in the Aquitaine region, providing an idyllic pleasure. And to please every food-lover, even the most health-conscious, there are the dining rooms under the Michelin-starred direction of Chef Franck Salein.
Spa cuisine, much in vogue these days, isn't a matter of dieting, but of habits. It centers around calories and willpower. Spa cuisine isn't designed primarily for weight loss, but is an ally for the body's good health.
Franck Salein, Former Chef, Les Sources de Caudalie
Les Sources de Caudalie - Chemin de Smith Haut-Lafitte - 33650 BORDEAUX-MARTILLAC - FRANCE
Phone: +33 (0)5 57 83 83 83 - Fax: +33 (0)5 57 83 83 84 - Email: email@example.com
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