Star Trek just returned to the small (well, streaming screen) with Patrick Stewart’s reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard. Yes, there’s an intriguing storyline, lots of fan service, and even a dog named “Number One”. However, at Neat Pour HQ, we’re most excited about Jean-Luc’s new career as a wine producer.
Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) may recall that the Captain (now Admiral) hails from a family of French vintners. Fittingly, the new series finds Jean-Luc at home at Chateau Picard. Here’s everything that we know about the family vineyard.
According to canon, the Picard vineyard is located in La Barre, a commune in the department of Haute-Saône, in the eastern French region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The label informs us that the juice is classified as a Grand Cru. Eyeballing it, we estimate that the Picard parcel is only about 15 acres.
The bottles pop us as easter eggs throughout the franchise, but we get our first deep dive in TNG s4e02 “Family.” During this episode, Picard returns to the vineyard for the first time in two decades. We learn that his brother Robért, siter-in-law Marie, and nephew René are the stewards of the grapes. Robért follows the Picard’s family’s adherence to traditionalism. He eschews modern methods and his devotion to the grapes is all consuming. At the episode’s conclusion, Jean-Luc enjoys a bottle of the 2347, which we’re informed is an excellent vintage.
Alas, in Star Trek: Generations, the Captain learns that Robért and René died in a fire at the estate. Then, in the TNG finale “All Good Things,” we are treated to a Q inspired dream sequence which leads us to believe that Picard will retire to La Barre.
That hint is confirmed in the Picard premier which finds Jean-Luc on the vineyard. We were very disappointed to discover that after taking the reins as vigneron, he abandoned the old methods and began employing massive, hovering machinery to spray the vines with a liquid that we can only hope is water.
The vines are trellised horizontally. These scenes are early in the season and there are not yet grapes on the vine, but the producers in the region typically grow Pinto Noir, Chardonnay, and the largely obscure Franc Noir de la Haute-Saône.
However, if you’re striving for realism, know that there is real Chateau Picard in France which predates the television show by a century or two.
This year, CBS and Wines That Rock partnered with (real) Picard parent company Mähler-Bess to release a Picard cuvée with show-accurate packaging. Their inaugural offering of the Trek branded 2016 Château Picard is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. The ABV clocks in at 13%.
Complimenting the French Picard, the marketers also are offering a more traditional tie-in. Meet 2017 United Federation of Planets. The futuristic looking bottle holds a jammy, 14.6% ABV juice produced by Dry Creek & Russian River Valleys in Sonoma County, California. The blend is a predictable 87% Zinfandel, 12% Petit Sirah and 1% Syrah.
If you wish to make it so, the wines can be purchased at startrekwines.com.
The wine does not exactly boldly going where no vintner has gone before. Sliver Screen Bottling makes a range of Trek spirits including Ten Forward Vodka, James T. Kirk Reserve Whiskey, and Montgomery Scott Scotch. Schmaltz Brewing also offers a line of Trek beers.