First, my recent Forbes articles are titled Why Wine Writing Is Tricky, and Cape Town, Puglia, Provence and Bordeaux Wines to Taste This Fall.

Now, art, wine and penmanship.

When Philippe Chandon-Moët married Paluine Bich (of the BIC Group) their union unexpectedly merged wine with writing. In 1978, Pauline’s father Marcel had purchased Château de Ferrand, a Grand Clu Classé estate located in Saint-Émilion on the right bank of Bordeaux, France.

A group of wine writers from the U.K., Ireland and the U.S.A. met earlier this year at Château de Ferrand for a workshop regarding their craft. Some photos are below.

Scenes from a wine writing gathering
Owner Philippe Chandon – Moët (top right) with winemaker Gonzague de Lambert; Château de Ferrand lineup and lunch setting

Today the estate includes a modest sized but special tasting room with four white walls completely illustrated with scenes of woodlands, fields, vines and a farmer tending grapes. What is unique about this continuous line drawing of ink on white wall is that it was created exclusively using BIC ballpoint pens. The artist took six months and seven ballpoint pens to complete the work.

Images in the Château de Ferrand tasting room, all created with BIC ballpoint pens

Alix Dufour, who manages marketing for BIC products, also created the Instagram site titled BIC Create, which includes art images from throughout the world created exclusively using BIC pens.

Some of the included images are astounding.

We were also served a four course meal in the four colors of BIC pens: blue, green, black and red.

4 Color Dinner

Blue Ink

Seafood including prawns and spirulina.

From the ocean

Green Ink

Green vegetables, inspired by the forests and landscapes of the Château de Ferrand estate.

Varied vegetables

Black Ink

Beneath a cloud of smoke, a blackened dish resembling the burnt logs of the forest fires from the Landes region of southwest France last year. Yet though it appeared to be meat and vegetables, the dish was all seafood.

More ocean fare

Red Ink

A raspberry concoction.

Fresh fruit


Stellar dinner lineup

Wines –

Louis-Benjamin Daguenea. Put Sang. Loire Valley. 2020.

Domain du Clos des Fées. Une Faune avec son Fifre. IGP des Côtes Catalanes. 2019.

Domaine Gangloff. AOC Côte-Rôtie. La Barbarine. 2018.

Bibi Graetze. Tuscany. Colore. 2016.

Castello Romitorio. Brunello di Montalcino. 2015.

Château Mouton Rothschild. Pauillac 1er Cru Classé. 2011.

Magnum Château de Ferrand. Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. 2005.

The experience was inspiring, cozy, intimate and uplifting. Merci Château de Ferrand!


Today I (re) published a book that was a bestseller in 1930 & 1931, after purchasing the copyright. This true story of a First World War escape is a great read!

As for wine, although bottles were scarce at the time of the First World War, it was smuggled to houses for celebrations and was as cherished as fresh fruit and meat.

This short video gives the story:

If you are interested in a copy, check out the Amazon link here.

Soon I’ll publish a Forbes piece on ballpoint art. Stay tuned …

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