A Vintage Margaux Named Hemingway Returns to the Bordeaux in Search of Her Roots

updated 11/17/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/17/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

She always bridled at the notion that she owes her celebrity to her last name, but Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter Margaux has no qualms about capitalizing on her first. The 25-year-old model and actress recently traveled to the Bordeaux region of France to publicize Château Margaux wine. She took part in harvesting the same variety of grapes that became the wine that, so legend goes, warmed her parents the night she was conceived. "I've been preparing for this all my life," she says. "It was a great thing for me." (Margaux was actually christened Margot but changed to the more exotic spelling when told the story about her mother and father.)

Accompanied by her husband of 10 months, Bernard Foucher, 40, Margaux spent three days tasting four of Bordeaux' premier crus—Cheval Blanc, Latour, Lafite and Margaux—and sampling the local cuisine. One meal was prepared by "five of the best French chefs," reports Margaux. "It all gets to be too much, but I never had a hangover."

Margaux worked off some of the calories in the fields, dressed in a blue cashmere sweater and burgundy leather pants. Her efforts did not go unrewarded. Friend and château owner André Mentzelopoulos selected Margaux as "godmother" of the 1980 vintage. Along with Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes, an amateur oenophile, she was presented with a "good harvesting" diploma by the winemakers' association Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc et des Graves.

Back in Paris, where she and Bernard moved three months ago, Margaux did penance by jogging through the Bois de Boulogne after classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. "As soon as my French gets better I will study at the Louvre," she says. "My whole family speaks perfect French except for me." Wine aside, she mused over her other namesake: "Grandpa liked fall best, you know—when it was time to pick the grapes."

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