Vignobles Bonfils announces new luxury wine tourism complex in Languedoc “Château Capitoul”

Vignobles Bonfils has just announced the opening of Château Capitoul, a luxury wine tourism complex at the heart of AOP La Clape in Languedoc.

The family-owned group is one of the largest vineyard owners in France, with 1,600 hectares under vine. Vignobles Bonfils also maintains 17 châteaux and estates in Occitania and 4 wine tourism sites.

Since 2011, through its alliance with Domaine & Demeure, Bonfils has jointly brought 3 of Languedoc’s flagship estates back to life: Les Carasses, Saint-Pierre de Serjac and, in 2021, Capitoul. In Roussillon, they have achieved the same with the inspirational Château l’Esparrou.

Laurent Bonfils, company CEO, said of the complex: “Being a wine tourism practitioner implies creating an emotional bond and becoming a region’s ambassador.”

The estate was purchased in 2011 and after a three-year renovation, the showpiece of 19th-century winery architecture has been restored and transformed.

The 93-hectare estate encompasses garrigue, olive groves, grounds and 62 hectares of unbroken vines while being nestled amidst the unspoilt countryside in Languedoc’s largest national park and Natura 2000.

Eco-Friendly and sustainable practices have been employed to protect the natural surroundings, especially the site’s water resources. Around the edges of the vineyards, a dry-stone wall habitat has been built for ocellated lizards.

The 62 hectares of Grenache noir and blanc, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Cinsault vines surround this iconic property in AOP La Clape, Languedoc’s first appellation to be granted village-designated status, for reds and whites. The re-opening of Château Capitoul coincides with a complete overhaul and redesign of the range. Under the La Clape appellation, it boasts 6 reds and 5 whites along with 3 Languedoc rosés.

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Languedoc Appoints its first General Director, Stéphanie Daumas

On October 1, Stéphanie Daumas became the first person to hold the role of General Director for the regional body of AOP Languedoc since the post was created in 2007.

The 41-year-old oenologist and lawyer previously managed the Vaucluse IGP, the Vieille Julienne estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the Victor Contis cooperative in the Southern Rhône. Between 2014-2018, Stéphanie also had a leading position for the Dolia negociant business subsidiary of Raphaël Michel France’s largest bulk wine supplier.

 

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Monks of France’s First Papal Vineyard Sell Wine to Support the Community

The Benedictine monks and nuns who tend to the first papal vineyard in France have launched an appeal to sell their wine to help the families of local wine growers.

Located on a hill in the Rhône Valley, the Abbeys of Le Barroux work together with the local wine-marking community to cultivate the land first established as a vineyard by Pope Clement V in 1309.

The monks are hoping to sell 15,000 bottles of their Via Caritatis wine during the month of June to help support the community after it was hit hard by a loss of sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fr. Michael, an American who has been a part of the French monastery for more than 30 years, told CNA that around 80 families directly depend on the winery for their livelihood.

“They work hard. They are in difficult conditions. Their wine in the past wasn’t recognized for what it was, which was a pretty high-quality wine, so they were just not making enough money to get by,” the Benedictine states.

“These families around us were making good wines, especially because we have the soil that is capable of producing … great wine, if it was cared for properly … The monastery was able to invest and to help these wine-making families get out of a situation which, all alone, I don’t think that they would have ever been able to get out of,” he explained.

With the help of Philippe Cambie, who has been recognized as one of the world’s top oenologists, or experts in the study of wine and winemaking, the monks have been able to create blends that produce award-winning wines from the combination of small plots of land owned by local growers with the abbey vineyard. Cambie has contributed to the wine production in its last stages at both former papal vineyards, which grow the same grape varieties.

The monks’ wine is less expensive than the nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, which, Fr. Michael points out, was founded later by Pope John XXII.

“You can buy wine for a cheaper price, and yet it can be almost the equivalent of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And at the same time, by buying this wine you are helping winemakers who are in need of money at this time, and COVID-19 has not helped their situation,” the priest said.

The Benedictines’ Via Caritatis winery is selling red, white, and rosé wines which ship to the United States and elsewhere in Europe – website – http://www.via-caritatis.com/

Fr. Michael said that they chose the name Via Caritatis for their winery because “wine is a symbol of charity, and also the charity of Christ who gave himself.”

The monks support themselves through manual labor, according to the rule of Saint Benedict.

“The monks try and strive to produce something capable of making them not dependent on others, and not only that, but to produce enough to be able to give charity to the poor, to give a part of the income to their poor,” he said. “We give part of our income here, every year, we give it to charitable organizations.”

“A bottle of wine is not just something that man uses to nourish his body,” he said. “If Christ chose wine to transform into his blood, it is for a reason, and he chose wine for a reason. So wine is something material, but it’s something that’s called by Christ to be transformed into something spiritual.”

Source:  The Catholic Telegraph

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Private Clients and Investors invited to bid at Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Auction on March 14, 2021

This year, for the first time, Burgundian producer Maison Edouard Delaunay is allowing a limited number of private clients and investors the chance to bid at this spring’s 60th Hospices de Nuits Wine Auction which will be held March 14th, 2021.

Since 1961, this “en primeur” sale of 228-litre barrels has been solely for trade buyers, until this year, the négociant will allow a number of private collectors to bid for the first time.

Prospective buyers can purchase a minimum of 24 bottles. They will be welcome (Covid restrictions dependent) to stay at Château de Gilly on Friday, March 12, with a visit to the Maison Delaunay winery on Saturday and then attend a tasting and lunch at the Hospices de Nuits on the day of the auction, Sunday, March 14, 2021.

The wines sold will finish their aging in the cellars of Maison Edouard Delaunay, at Étang Vergy, under the supervision of cellar master Christophe Briotet, recently nominated “best winemaker in the world” by the “International Wine Challenge”.

A Historical Relationship
The historic relationship between Maison Edouard Delaunay and the Hospices de Nuits began long before the first auction in 1961, when Laurent Delaunay’s grandfather bought Hospices de Nuits wines by mutual, exclusive agreement.

The Charity – Hospices de Nuits
Hospices de Nuits consists of a working hospital, a retirement home and one of the most beautiful collections of vineyards of Nuits-Saint-Georges and the Côte de Nuits whose wines are sold at the traditional March auction.

The Hospices de Nuits was founded in 1270 and is historically older than Hospices de Beaune which was founded in 1443. The Hospices de Nuits began offering its wine at auction 60 years ago. Over the centuries the Hospice has been bequeathed numerous vineyards which today comprises of 12.5 hectares. Most of the vineyards are in Nuits-Saint-Georges, covering six parcels of village appellations and nine premier crus, and including Les Didiers.

Laurent Delaunay states: “To bid at the Hospices de Nuits combines the pleasure of buying top wines with the joy of contributing to a great charity.”

For further information, and details of how to sign up and bid https://burgundyauction.wine/

France pours more aid as wine sector faces ‘Major Difficulties’

This week the government of France stepped up financial support for wine growers faced with a deep drop in demand after lockdowns closed restaurants and bars and U.S. tariffs curbed exports.

“The state will increase to 250 million euros its support plan to wine growing and we will request this aid to be distributed as quickly as possible because cash needs are pressing,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday.

Castex made the announcement during a visit to the Menetou-Salon and Sancerre vineyards in the Loire region.

“The international situation, the health crisis, a drop in exports: our wine sector faces major difficulties. State support must continue and intensify,” Castex said on Twitter earlier.

France has already provided some support, but the wine industry has called for more action.

In April, the European Commission decided to support crisis management measures in wine and other agriculture sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis.

In May, France cleared a 140 million euro ($165.87 million)crisis mechanism to distill surplus wine into industrial alcohol to be used to produce hand sanitizers.

Then in June, the government unveiled an additional 30 million euros of support for the wine industry, including 15 million for the launch of a private storage scheme for two million hectolitres of surplus wine, an alternative to distilling.

In addition to the impact of COVID-19, France’s wine industry has suffered from U.S tariffs on imports imposed as part of the trade dispute between the European Union and the United States over aircraft subsidies.

Source:  Reuters