As appellations go, Pomerol is remarkably consistent. The average quality of the wines produced here is arguably better than in any other commune in Bordeaux. This is undoubtedly due in part to the predominance of the dependable merlot grape—but there is also what Bruno de Lambert, owner of Chateau de Sales, the largest estate in the appellation, identifies as a sense of camaraderie and unity of purpose. This is one of the few wine regions in France, and the only one in Bordeaux, where winemakers dine together and taste together constantly, discussing their wines, sharing—and sometimes arguing about—technical information. (There is currently a heated but good-natured debate going on in the appellation, for instance, over the question of new barriques, or oak barrels. The proprietors of Le Pin, La Fleur de Gay, Le Bon Pasteur, and La Conseillante, for instance, use a high percentage of new oak, while those of Gazin, La Pointe, and Nenin feel that new oak should be used more sparingly.) They also travel together frequently to promote their wines, and some 20 of the better producers have formed a promotional organization called Pomerol Prestige, to help maintain the good name of the appellation.