Once upon a time in the south-west of the kingdom of France, called Aquitaine at this time, there was a hidden area. It was a beautiful area with the shape of a delta making the link between the Gironde estuary and the south of France where the Marmandais was starting. It was boarded by 2 beautiful rivers, La Dordogne on the east, and La Garonne on the west and for this reason, it was named “Entre-2-Mers” (the in-between 2 seas). In this time nature had some feelings, and its nature was sad because it has been forgotten by its inhabitants.
In the 19th century, the Aquitaine was producing wines really appreciated by another kingdom, the kingdom of England. English people liked to call this wine Claret, as its colour was a pale clear red. Aquitaine at this time was independent, its inhabitants used to call themselves Bordelais. They wanted to regulate the wine trading between those 2 kingdoms. In 1855 a classification of all the wine producer castles was made, from then those wines would be called growths (first, second…) and will get specific names such as Pauillac, Margaux, St Estèphe. Most of those castles were based on the left bank of the Gironde, an area called Médoc, few from the other side, but none from our lovely area “Entre-2-Mers”. It has been forgotten. Our lovely area was then allowed to produce white Entre-2-Mers from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, and red Bordeaux AOC. But no prestigious appellations were created for her, and that was a reason enough for her to be sad.
Once upon a time in the north-west of this south-west area of the kingdom of France, in St Loubes, there was a castle built-in the 16th century, a brave castle with a secret: One day its wines will beat the best growths classified.. The castle was sure it could do it as he has the same soil than the great growths classified, Molasses du Fronsadais, Limestones of Castillon, Calcaires à Astéries, pebbles and gravels, graves, even the architect Master Gustave Eiffel (the one who designed the Tower in Paris and the Liberty for New york City) had seen that our castle have a great destiny and to prove it he designed a beautiful greenhouse for our brave castle.
Our brave castle wanted to reign on the Bordeaux wine area, and for this reason it was named “Reignac”.
It’s well-known that to succeed you need to persevere, and to be patient, so he did. And in 1990, a couple of wine lovers, Stéphanie and Yves Vatelot, bought our castle to produce wines.They had a vision for our castle, they wanted to produce the best wine possible in the respect of this area natural skills. So they first asked to the Oenologist master Michel Rolland to be their consultant on that matter. In 1993, they created a magnificent lake to prevent frost and to design a beautiful landscape. Our castle was so proud of its garden and its greenhouse, and its new landscape that the wine it produced in 1996 reach the 90/100 in the Parker ranked among the first 50 best bordeaux, and 92/100 in 1996. The legend was alive for our brave castle.
In 2002, a new time had come, the time to grow. 3 Ha were purchased, totally planted in old Merlot, the wine was vinified in new oak barrel as the “Vatelot Method”. Balthus was born.
Things were created to produce wines more and more in the respect of the environmental integrity, creation of a new viticol effluent, Bamboo plantation, and from 2009 a collaboration with J.P.Cousinie a nutritional vine specialist to orchestrate the treatment according to the need of each vine.
It was finally time, as in any tale with a castle, for a wizard to come…
In 2009, a long man arrived, he was tall, thin with long hairs. He could speak to the cats and his last name was “Lesaint”, like the Saint, and guess what? His first name was Nicolas…we all know who is Santa Klaus, right? Call by thousand names Nicolas Lesaint, here it was. At this time, people didn’t trust in magic anymore so our wizard was said to be the new exploitant director.
He had one purpose in life: to make a change in the wine world, he was convinced that none the organic or the traditional vine culture was the future, and he wanted to find a sustainable development linking natural to science.
Our brave Castle Reignac was now part of pilot group of wine-producing to reduce the environment impact of wine making. Only 2 wineries in Bordeaux was doing as good as him, with a Recycling, using Phytobac, Bamboo station, chemical grass removal abandoned, organic fertilizer, respect of the soils, harvest at the right ripen stage, and from 2013 working closely with the INRA to study the impact of the landscape on parasites development in the vineyard, and to value the existing biodiversity in order to reduce treatments, for example they found a hyper parasite fungus capable to attack the odium and destroy it. Work with local farmer and his sheep during the winter.
In June 2009, the dream came true, the Grand European Jury placed Grand Vin de Reignac on the second place upon the finest Bordeaux wines. In 2015 it was given the chance to the english people to change the story in the Bordeaux trading and to be part of the Reignac tale, so if you want to be one of those lucky guys, contact me here.