AOC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Farming organically in the Bordeaux region is a huge challenge, the climate works constantly against you. Being so close to the Bay of Biscay, the annual rainfall here is surprisingly high, 941mm average compared to just 586mm in London (we should have checked this before moving here!). This humidity, together with relatively warm average temperatures, makes a perfect environment for rot to propagate in the vineyard, and farming organically means abandoning almost all of the common methods of protecting your vineyard against rot.
A further move to biodynamic presents even greater challenges, so when Nathalie Boyer and Alain Tourenne took over Château Beynat as partners in 1995, with declared intentions to execute these plans and return the vineyard to its full natural state, they knew it was not going to be easy.
Despite these obstacles, two factors worked in their favour: first, each had grown up in wine families, Alain from Bordeaux and Nathalie’s family have been making wine in Alsace since 1640, so they had a real feel for wine; second, the property they bought had been sensitively managed by one family for four generations and there was a clear sense to the way it had been cared for, so the raw material was sound.
The story has turned out very well and Château Beynat has allowed the pair to express their thoughts on wine in a whole range of ways, producing now a range of nine different cuvées, red, white and rosé, from three appellations. We only offer their straight Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux and a little of their Saint Emilion, partly because the quantities of their other wines are so small as to make them unrealistic for building a useful export base, but also because they are so good Alain and Nathalie have no problem selling them, mainly locally.
|Château Beynat, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, 2014|
|Château Beynat, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, 2015|
|Château Beynat, cuvée Terre Amoureuse, St Emilion, 2014|
|Château Beynat, cuvée Terre Amoureuse, St Emilion, 2015|