THE Spa & the Skincare

It all started with the grape seed discovery. While at the vineyard in ’93, Bordeaux University of Pharmacy Professor, Joseph Vercauteren, mentioned to the Cathiard’s daughter, Mathilde Cathiard-Thomas, as he saw grape seeds being thrown out that they were throwing away ‘veritable treasures.’ Professor Vercauteren had just been the first to discover a fatty acid to stabilize the polyphenols found in grape seeds.  These polyphenols fight free radicals, which are responsible for 80% of skin aging, 10,000 times more powerfully than Vitamin E & A.  Mathilde signed a research partnership with the Department and founded the first wine-based skincare company, Caudalie (a caudalie is the amount of time a wine stays on the palate after swallowing, i.e. a young red is 5-6 caudalies and a dessert wine 20-22).  Their first products launched in ’95.  I started using several of the regimens, including VINEXPERT & Energizing, after trying them at the hotel & spa and I love them!  They’re not animal tested, use no animal based ingredients, no mineral oils and no coloring. After years of using my old regimen, I can really see an amazing positive difference in my skin!

Also on the property it was discovered that a patch of vines was producing inferior grapes.  As vineyards in Bordeaux are not allowed to use irrigation, they discovered 540 metres underground a water source rich in minerals and naturally hot causing the inferior grape.  But this would be perfect fr a spa. And thus the first Vinotherapie® Spa was born on the grounds in ’99.

The spa offers unique treatments combining the virtues of the spring water with those of the vine and grapes using all Caudalie products. An incredible experience, we spent a full day at the spa during our stay … soaking up the tranquility of the light airy space full of water features and smooth light woods. Whether you’re relaxing in the quiet rooms, the pools or outdoor decks or having a treatment in one of the 19 cabanas, the grapes surround you.  We tried several of their exclusive treatments…

  • Barrel Bath: immersed in a giant barrel-like tub, you’re surrounded by water fullof essential oils, grape & red vine extracts to help drain your system of impurities and activate circulation.
  • Wine Maker’s Massage: this sculpting massage is Caudalie’s signature and recreates the ritualistic steps of the wine-making process on the body, alternating techniques using bare hands and pressure on the energy paths as it activates blood circulation and muscle tone.
  • Pulp Friction: this sculpting massage remineralizes and gently exfoliates using the fresh grapes and essential oils, it gives your skin lasting softness and moisture.
  • Vinosource Facial: this nourishing treatment with fresh grapes was specially designed to restore comfort, radiance and softness to dry skin.

You can also enjoy Caudalie & Vinotherapie in your home via their product line, at Les Etangs de Corot hotel & spa 15 minutes outside Paris (also run by the Cathiard family), Marques de Riscal in the Rioja Region of Spain, and now in the U.S. at the Plaza Fairmont in New York City (spa with a Sommelier and wine lounge, French Paradox).

Coming tomorrow part 3, the Hotel.  Also see part 1, The Chateaux & the Wine and photos of the whole Bordeaux tour.

* source Les Sources de Caudalie Magazine