16th Feb 2003

Discover the virtues of the vineå...
Set among vines and woods, in the heart of the best growth vineyards in Bordeaux France; Les Sources de Caudalie is an oasis of calm and tranquillity. It is a truly unique concept that brings together the sophistication of the grape, the art of haute cuisine, a luxurious hotel and thermal springs. This clever, sensual mix of fine French living, a new age SPA, and the riches of Bordeaux has gained a place among the International Herald Tribuneå‘s top ten world destinations for health tourism.

It is often said that a good wine unbridles desire - think sparkling eyes and flushed cheeks. It has long been known that wine brings the senses alive and sets the spirit free. It is now widely accepted that two glasses a day also cosset the arteries. However, until now little was known of its ability to make the skin softer, the legs lighter and the body livelier. These secret virtues were long neglected for they are found not in the glass but in the skin of the grape and at the very heart of its seeds.

Set in beautiful Bordeaux, Les Sources de Caudalie, is surrounded on one side by 130 acres of vines and cellars with blond oak barrels housing the great vintages; while on the other, there is a natural thermal source, and a luxurious Vinotherapie SPA for the care of body and face.
The first chapter of the Vinotherapy story was written in the autumn of 1994, during the grape harvest. Florence and Daniel Cathiard’s daughter, Mathilde Cathiard-Thomas, and her husband Bertrand were out walking around the Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard and cellar with a team of professors of the pharmaceutical faculty at Bordeaux University. When they came across a bin of seeds, the professor in charge of research exclaimed “Do you realise you are throwing away a real treasure?” he went on to explain that the polyphenols concentrated in grapes contain anti-oxidants capable of effectively combating free radicals and their agents - smoke, stress, pollution - which are among the chief culprits in aging skin.
Whereas conventional anti-aging products can reduce wrinkles by some 11 percent, polyphenol-based products lay claim to 80 percent effectiveness. What`s more, polyphenols improve blood circulation and the work rate of the heart, thus helping to improve the oxygenation of the tissue. Finally grape-seed oil is rich in fatty acids and therefore an ideal nutrient for softening and moisturising the skin.

This is how the idea for a range of treatments based on polyphenol-rich grape-seeds began to ferment, and the seeds came to be moved from the waste bins to the laboratories. Five years later, in 1999, Les Sources de Caudalie, managed by Alice Cathiard (Mathilde’s sister) and her fiancé Jér™me Tourbier, opened with absolutely unique treatments at the SPA. They combine the virtues of naturally warm spring water taken from a depth of 540-m underground, rich in minerals and oligo-elements, with vine and grape extracts. With merlot wraps, and wine-barrel baths, the Caudalie Vinotherapie SPA has utilised the by-products of wine-making to glamorous effect.




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