DESIRE CORDIER, UNEQUALED WINE GROWER AND VISIONARY HAD ALREADY OBSERVED IN 1934 THE PHENOMENON OF THE “FRENCH PARADOX”.
Owner, among others, of Chateau Talbot and Gruaud Larose, Désiré Cordier was the mayor of Saint-Julien since 1925. Very concerned with developing interest in the wines of the Gironde, he organized and presided on June 16, 1934, in front of the President of the Republic Albert Lebrun, three ministers and several deputies and senators, an exceptional festival: the festival of longevity.
Founder of a famous wine trading house, a great owner/wine-grower, he had, as one used to say, “the sense of advertising”, in other words, he was a marketing man, visionary and intuitive.
He observed (backed by statistics) that in Saint Julien in particular, and in Médoc in general, that life expectancy was higher than the national average. “It would be disrespectful to our national drink to ignore such a comparison in favor of our good wines. The arguments supported by the figures show that the Médoc, and more particularly Saint-Julien, is the country proper to octogenarians, which proves in the most conclusive way that wine – and by that meaning good wine is understood – is as I said, the elixir of long life! ”
This anticipated the opinion of many American, but also French, cardiologists who demonstrated that the polyphenols of great wines effectively contribute to the prolongation of good cardiovascular circulation, thereby reducing cardiac accidents.
The President’s Visit
Based on an irrefutable record, Désiré Cordier invited Albert Lebrun, President of the Third Republic, which was in fact the last, to come in person to appreciate the virtues of the great wines of the Medoc. The presidential train arrived at the station of Saint-Laurent-Saint-Julien, greeted of course with pomp and circumstance. An impressive service ensured the safety of the President and his entourage on the road between the train station and Saint-Julien.
A photograph from the time shows Désiré Cordier in a jacket, top hat in hand, his white mustache blowing in the wind at the head of the procession, alongside President Albert Lebrun, greeting elderly couples gathered in the village square of Saint-Julien.
A FAMILY HISTORY: from 1918 to today
PASSER BYS, GREET SAINT-JULIEN: The Mayor Désiré Cordier installs signs at the village’s entrances.