French Wineries and Tours

Delas FreresDelas Freres Winery

Rhone Valley

A large number of medals and awards, as well as the recognition by a clientele of wine-lovers in France and in many overseas countries, have rewarded our constant search for quality, elegance and distinction.

Convinced that the essence of every wine derives from the considerable diversity, due to climate and geology, of vineyards throughout the Rhone Valley, Delas pays great attention to the specific character of each one.

Whether it be grapes of its own estates or those purchased, the plots from the best vineyards are vinified and matured separately before being blended, in order to bring out the nature of the wines from each appellation.

Single vineyard wines are given selective treatment to reveal the personality of each terroir.

These combinations produce the richness of the Delas palette of wines.

In order to have a series of benchmarks and to see how the wines evolve in time, Delas keeps a wine-library where these treasures mature.

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Dopff & Iriom Winery

Alsace

Clustered around Riquewihr, the 27 hectare vineyard worked by Dopff & Irion is extremely well situated.

The different types of soil and the varied climate means we are able to produce rich, powerful, complex wines.

Each of the terroirs is studied and managed independently.

Therefore the grapes and the rootstock in particular are planted according to the nature of the soil and the direction in which the vineyard is facing.

Langlois-ChateauLanglois-Chateau Winery

Loire Valley

Founded by Edouard Langlois and his wife Jeanne Chateau and run today by Michel Villedey, the Maison Langlois-Chateau has kept its family character.

Specialised from the beginning in making "fine bubble" wines, Langlois-Chateau has developed little by little these vineyards. A range of "still" wines is also produced in a selection of Loire valley appellation controlees.

Langlois-Chateau has been developing "fine bubbles" wines like this under the name Cremant de Loire, an appellation that requires manual picking, lighter pressing, longer maturing and adding its own quality standards to the appellations' requirements.

Langlois-Chateau also makes "still" wines from vineyards it runs in Saumur -Domaine Langlois-Chateau, Saumur-Champigny-Chateau de Varrains, Sancerre -Chateau de Fontaine-Audon or that it controls in Muscadet - Domaine de Grand-Maison. Maison Joseph Drouhin

Maison Joseph Drouhin - Chablis

Burgundy

In 1968, Maison Joseph Drouhin was one of the very few Beaune-based wine merchants to be already established in Chablis.

The vineyards, devastated in 1885 by the phylloxera crisis, were then nearly practically extinct.

Starting in the early 1980's, the vineyards were gradually replanted. Their present fame dates from that decade.

Wanting to insure that the quality of the Grands Crus of Chablis would be preserved and wishing to see a stricter code of ethics in viticulture shared by all, Maison Joseph Drouhin decided in 2001 to rejoin the "Union des Grands Crus de Chablis" (U.G.C.C.).

The members of this association pledge to respect these production methods stated in the charter: control of the yields, authorized plantings, protection of the environment and tracing of origin for all products.

Laurent-Gabriel Winery

Champagne-Ardenne

Our champagne wines first vintage are coaxed from the grapes by Daniel Laurent vine grower in Avenay Val of Gold (between Epernay and Reims).

Our wines have appeared several times in the guides, Hachette and Dussert-Geber.

We are pleased to present our Champagnes to you. They have been produced in the purest Champagne Tradition.

Our Champagnes come exclusively from vines we care for on the Soil of Avenay-Valley-in Or.

Our first harvest vines are located in the South-eastern part of the slope of Ay. Our wines result from the following three type of vines in Champagne:

The Black Pinot (black grape), producing a wine with some fruit flavours.

The Miller (black grape) produces the fruitiest wines.

The Chardonnay (white grape) has delicate, fine flavours of dried fruits, and its wine is sharp and fresh to the tongue.

Chateau de Lugagnac Winery

Aquitaine

This winery is a highlight of Wine tourism in the Gironde area.

Situated on the heights of the watersheds between the catchment areas of the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers, the Chateau de Lugagnac has a history going back to the Hundred Years' War.

Although partially rebuilt in the 15th and again in the 17th century, it has retained its authenticity and its elegance.

The domain of Lugagnac covers 180 ha (430 acres): 80 ha of wines and the rest meadow and woodland.

It is about 1 km from the town of Pellegrue and 3 km from the magnificent abbey of Saine-Ferme.

The owners invite you to share their passion for wine made by following the traditions of their region.

They extend an invitation for those travelling through their region to visit their modern winery and taste their wines.

Chateau Perayne Winery

Aquitaine

Heinrich and Monique Luddecke sold their mixed farm in the Hanover region in Lower Saxony to come to the Bordeaux region at the end of 1994.

They purchased the Chateau Perayne, an estate (independent winery and private limited company) with a large impressive house and original outbuildings surrounding an inner courtyard perched on the Garonne slopes in the Saint-Macaire district.

The house overlooks the 22 unbroken hectares of vineyard planted with cabernet-sauvignon (25%), cabernet franc (25%), Merlot (40%), sauvignon and Semillon (10 percent). It produces four appellations: AOC Bordeaux blanc sec
AOC Bordeaux rose
AOC Bordeaux rouge
AOC Bordeaux Superieur rouge
Cotes de Bordeaux Saint Macaire dry
Cotes de Bordeaux Saint Macaire sweet
VQM Cuvee Perayne Brut

All these wines are marketed in direct sales in France and abroad, and sold in bulk.

Since they arrived, the Luddecke family have modernised the winery installing cutting-edge equipment.

The storage building for bottles and barrels has been very tastefully restored to ensure, in the best conditions, direct private sales in France and abroad, which, given a new impetus by these new owners, have greatly expanded.

Cave du Marmandais Winery

In the heart of Southwest France, the slopes of the Cotes du Marmandais look down onto the banks of the Garonne River.

The gentle curve of the hills draws the winegrowing landscape of the appellation.

All wines bear the character of the region where they were born and ours are in the image of the Marmandais area: pleasant and warm, powerful, generous and sincere.

No complicated words or grand speeches, only a passion of dedication to our craft, the winegrowers of the Marmandais region want one thing, to offer you a moment of real emotion and pleasure.

The Cotes du Marmandais appellation has a very distinctive feature. It is cut in two by the Garonne River, with its vineyards stretching out along the hillsides above the left and right banks.

The bottom of the valley is a zone without vines separating the two winegrowing areas. For decades, the history of the two sides of the valley was written separately.

On the right bank, close to the town of Marmande, the winegrowers naturally had close links with the town and its history, choosing its cloister as their emblem to be featured on their Cuvees.

On the left bank, the growers organised themselves around the winery in Cocumont and its now-legendary Romanesque church. Cocumont - a strange name and a strange story explained briefly in the following lines.

Some wise Benedictine monks on their way from Conques stopped here on hearing the call of a cuckoo.

Whether the sign was of divine origin or brought on by wine, nobody knows, but they decided to build a church on this spot and plant vines.

The place was named Coculo Monte : Cuckoo's Mount! History or legend? One thing is sure; the 11th-century church is still there today!

Chateau de Chantegrive Winery
33720 Podensac
SAS Vignobles Leveque
Tel: 0033 (0) 556271738
Fax: 0033 (0) 556272942

Chantegrive's wines are now known and drunk all over the world.

They can be found on the "cartes" of the most prestigious restaurants. Chateau de Chantegrive is a member of the Union of Bordeaux's Grands Crus.

Le Chateau de Chantegrive, one of the largest estates in the Graves area, was named after a well-known bird, the "grive musicienne" or songthrush.

At harvest time, songthrushes frequently visit the vineyard's sunny, south-facing slopes, where they love to gorge themselves on the delicious, sun-ripened grapes.

Hence the name "Chantegrive."

Chantegrive, thanks to patient work to regroup the plots over the last 40 years, now uses some of the best winemaking equipment in this area.

M. and Mme Leveque's use both traditional vine-growing and wine-making methods, and the most modern winemaking techniques in creating their excellent wines.

Domaine de Labarthe Winery

Languedoc-Roussillon

The Gaillac vineyard is situated in the Tarn department (one of the oldest of France).

The Albert family invites you to share their love of good wines in this magnificent surrounding through the discovery of a complete range of wines elaborated and bottled in the domain by their own care.

Let yourself be surprised by a beaded white, captivated by a late harvest soft white, and charmed by a red wine, bursting with sunshine, wines whose reputations exceeds our borders.

The Domaine de Labarthe is situated on the Castanet parish in the Gaillac region, on the hillside of the right banks of the Tarn river.

It is 10 kms away from the medieval city of Cordes (XIIIth Century), 15 kms away from Albi, Toulouse-Lautrec hometown and 15 kms away from Carmaux (Cap'Decouverte).

Domaine de Pialentou Winery

Aquitaine
Languedoc-Roussillon

Gaillac is the prestigious "appellation" of the wines of the South West, which comprise the main vineyards located along the valleys of the Garonne River and its tributaries.

Situated between the Aquitaine and the Languedoc, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees and the Massif Central, these vineyards - often very old but either underrated or too long ignored - have very distinct personalities, reflecting the diverse influences encountered over the centuries.

The vineyard of Gaillac ranges along the slopes of the Tarn valley. Although it owes its expansion to the creation by tenth century Benedictine monks of the very powerful and influential St Michel Abbey, its entry into the world of appellations controlees is fairly recent: by decree of 23rd October 1970.

The "Domaine de Pialentou" is located on the terraces of the left bank of the Tarn, in Brens, just a bridge away from Gaillac.

These west/north-west facing slopes, characterised by pebbles, silts and gravel are 180 metres above sea level and 50 metres above the level of the Tarn. Their vines enjoy one of the sunniest locations in the appellation.

We are happy to answer any questions about Domaine de Pialentou and its wines. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Enjoy your visit. We hope to hear from you soon.

Chateau de Crain Winery

Bordeaux

Chateau de Crain is situated right at the heart of the Bordeaux wine-growing region, in the "Entre-Deux-Mers" picturesque area, bordered, as its name implies, by two waterways, the Dordogne on the north and the Garonne on the south.

Four generations have worked this family vineyard of 50 hectares that produces fine dry white "Entre-Deux-Mers", red "Bordeaux" and "Bordeaux Superieur" wines.

A fine clay-chalk soil, coupled with a highly favourable climate and eagle scrutiny of the family proprietors ensure that every bottle of wine leaving Chateau de Crain fully lives up to its Appellation Controlee label, and guarantee the authenticity and the quality of our products, which you can buy with confidence.

Michel Fougere

Chateau Gazin Winery

Bordeaux

The development of the Pomerol vineyard in the 12th century up to the French Revolution of 1789 around the commandary of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta is confirmed by very old documents from the Great Priory of Malta in Toulouse.

The present day Chateau GAZIN, which was once a village in the 18th century, is located on the site of the hospital built by the Knights to host the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella.

The Chateau GAZIN vineyards cover 64.2 acres in a single lot, with 56.8 acres under vines, located on the renowned clay-gravel plateau of Pomerol.

The estate can produce up to 100,000 bottles a year. A second AOC Pomerol wine, Hospitalet de Gazin, was created in 1986 in order to reserve the best of the harvest for Chateau Gazin.

The grapes are fermented in small cement vats. The wine is aged for 18 months in oak barrels (50% new) according to the Bordeaux tradition : malolactic fermentation in casks, rackings to separate the fine wine from the lees, fining with egg whites and, if necessary, light filtration.

After bottling at the chateau, the wine is shipped in wooden cases to the consumers worldwide. 80% of Chateau GAZIN production is exported.

The Chateau Gazin is a member of the Union of the Great Growths of Bordeaux and of the Academy of Wines of Bordeaux.

Chateau Latour Winery

Bordeaux

Located in the famous Medoc wine region, about 40 kilometers north-west of the city of Bordeaux, the vineyard of Chateau Latour belongs to the Pauillac appellation.

The quality of its wine depends partly on the type of grape variety that is being used, but also on the exceptional combination of natural elements (geography, geology and climate) that constitutes its "terroir".

Vine-growers and tractor drivers work all year round on the 600,000 vine-plants (about 10,000 per hectare) of Chateau Latour.

A year at Chateau Latour takes place as follows :

Pruning from November to March. Only two branches are left ("guyot double" pruning system), and three buds on average on each branch;

March-April : replacing of the defective "carrassons" (wood peg), "acanage" (tying up the vine-plants) and bending the branches;

End of April-May: complantation, which means vine by vine and not by complete plot, when it is dead or in decline. Therefore vines of very different ages can be found in the same plot.

This type of vineyard management implies that the grapes of young vines are identified in order to be picked separately during the Harvest; one has to pass a second time to pick the older vines of each plot.

Replanting a complete plot is then decided when it has reached its limits, i.e. when the land needs to "rest" for one or two years.

On average, a parcel of 2 hectares should be replanted every four years.

When the choice of the parcel to replant has been made, one stops planting new vines eight years before its complete removal.

Lilian-Ladouys Chateau Winery

Bordeaux

At the edge of Pauillac... On the soil of Saint-Estephe, the vines of Lilian-Ladouys are to be found where the roads meet, a stone's throw from the Graves of Cos d'Estournel and the Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.

With its elegant Directory Charterhouse, the Lilian-Ladouys Chateau expresses a generous idea of Medoc's durability, a close union between the crop the wine itself.

The Estate of La Doys was spoken of as early as 1654, "the fiefdom" of Jacques de Bercoyan, Lord of Lafite, a magistrate in Medoc at the time.

In the XVIIIth century, the Barre family bought the estate and continued to run it for over 150 years. It was they who gave the Chateau its identity and character.

With its relaunch, Lilian-Ladouys has set itself such ambitious targets. Georges Pauli is holding the conductor's baton.

Beginning with harvesting itself, great care is taken in collecting the grapes, that are selected from specific plots, taking account of the age of the vines, and of course, the grape variety.

This flexibility helps in making the prime blend which will go to make the Great Wine of the Chateau At Lilian-Ladouys.

The young vines, producing the casks that are just a little less successful, will provide the second wine, the chateau de la Devise de Lilian which makes up about 25% of the harvest.

Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Winery

Bordeaux

The harmony and variety of the grapes of Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is unique in the Pauillac appellation.

It is without doubt the proportion of grape varieties that endows the wine with such longevity and such an exceptional character, without the slightest hint of hardness.

The 45% Cabernet Sauvignon give the wine its structure and robustness, and thus its longevity. Recent tastings of the old vintages such as 1875, 1893, 1900 have shown that, with their astonishing youth, the potential for ageing of the wines of Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.

35% Merlot: a surprising percentage and quite inhabitual in an appellation which normally uses Cabernet Sauvignon.

"My uncle Louis liked a lot of variety of wines" explains May Eliane de Lencquesaing, "it gives colour, roundness and suppleness, distinctive traits of the wines of this domain."

The 12% of Cabernet Franc gives a well balanced wine with a fruity bouquet, firm and clear in youth, which melts well in the preparation of the cuvee during ageing.

The 8 percent of Petit Verdot brings freshness and great aromatic complexity and spices to the wine. In very sunny years such as 1982, 1986, 1989 and 1990, in which the grapes reach excellent maturity, it has a remarkable influence.

Pontet-Canet Winery

Bordeaux Jean-Fran�ois de Pontet, royal governor of the Medoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century.

Years later, his descendants added neighboring vines in a place named Canet. This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Medoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.

A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Medoc. This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Hermann Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865.

He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine's reputation around the world. The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.

Currently owned by Guy Tesseron's sons, Alfred and Gerard, this means that Pontet-Canet has belonged to only three families in over two centuries. Thirty years after their arrival in Pauillac, the Tesserons can be proud of having gradually restructured the entire vineyard as well as renovating the cellars and service buildings.

Jean Guillot Winery

Bordeaux Born into a family of winegrowers who have owned Domaine de Bouteilley since 1617, Jean Guillot founded his trading company in 1953.

Jean Guillot is a 100% family-owned limited company run by Jean Louis Guillot (CEO) and his brother Christophe Guillot (director of vineyards), both sons of Jean.

With their five properties, Jean Guillot bottle and sell a vast range of brand wines, chateau wines and Crus Classes. Chateau de Bouteilley has belonged to the Guillot family since 1617.

This estate is set on the clay-limestone hillsides of Yvrac. Vinification is performed in an ultra-modern vat house equipped with stainless steel vats designed on a special model (Jean Guillot patent) which allows permanent, efficient control over fermentation temperatures and high-quality maceration.

A "cuvee prestige" is matured in oak barrels.

Laherte Freres Winery

Champagne-Ardenne

Perched on the vineyards 4 kilometres to the south of Epernay, Chavot is part of what is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable landscapes in Champagne.

It owes much of its renown to its church, which dates back to the XII th and XVI th centuries and overlooks the vineyards.

The church was built around 1202, with stones taken from an old castle on the Mont Felix, which had been destroyed shortly before.

Even at that early date, the inhabitants of "CHAVOST" cultivated vineyards and produced red wine, only moving on to a sparkling white wine at the end of the XVII th century.

It was in 1889, that our ancestor, Jean-Baptiste Laherte, founded his own brand. Ever since then, the generations have followed each other, passing on know-how and passion from father to son.

Today, after six generations, the estate has developed and grown, both in terms of surface area and the quality of its wines.

The philosophy of our estate responds to certain criteria : respect for traditions by bringing together rigorous standards and passion, a constant search for perfection in order to continually improve our wines, and originality in offering authentic wines.

Leclerc Briant Winery

Champagne-Ardenne

Drinking champagne in Epernay is like listening to Mozart in Salzburg

A major step in Champagne-making, riddling consists in getting the sediment (residue of in-bottle fermentation) to slide into the bottle's neck.

At Leclerc Briant's, we do it all manually. A specialist cellar worker will operate for 4 to 6 weeks in a row.

After candling the bottle to "read" the wine, he will vibrate the wine and riddle each bottle placed horizontally on a rack, swinging it and rotating it one quarter to one eighth.

The bottles will thus reach an upside down position gently and progressively. Riddling is over when the wine is clear and the sediment has been deposited in the "bidule" (a small container built into the capsule).

The riddler can process up to 60.000 bottles a day with remarkable sensitiveness and skill.

Did you know that he sometimes chooses the cellar where he operates according to the weather outside?

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