The history of Château de Haute-Serre is the story of a meeting between a man of passion and a terroir.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Georges Vigouroux, the third generation of a family of broker-maturers, was looking for a place on the slopes to replant a vineyard of Malbec on its historical terroir. After two years searching he discovered Château de Haute-Serre, that had been abandoned since the destruction of the vineyard by phylloxera at the end of the 19th century.
Juniper bushes and stunted oaks had overrun the land for nearly a century. As he knew that up to 1880 this estate had produced one of France’s greatest wines - Château de Haute Serre rubbed shoulders with Château Margaux and wines from Pommard on the menus for great meals of the time - Georges Vigouroux took up the challenge to bring about the rebirth of the estate.
It was a true a stroke of genius. Georges Vigouroux could feel from the beginning that this site bathed in sun from the first hours of the day, whose stony clay-rich soil was ideal to produce grapes for a Great Wine, was truly predestined for the perfect ripening of Malbec grapes. His action has confirmed the vinegrowing choices made intuitively by previous generations. The grape variety itself has since amply proved just how well it is adapted to the slopes of Cahors.
It took two years to clear the land, break down the stones and plant 160 000 vines as well as create a chai in the rehabilitated old buildings. A vatroom of stainless steel vats, and an oak vat and barrel cellar make Haute-Serre a winemaking venue without equal in the Southwest of France. Aesthetics and technique join forces in perfect harmony.
From the sale of his very first vintage of AOC Cahors – 1976 – Georges Vigouroux was rewarded for all the efforts her had made: Haute-Serre was recognised as being a true “Cru”.
The greatest names in the national press of the time (La Reynière, Le Monde, 1977. GaultMillau, 1979. Guy Leray, La Revue du Vin de France, 1982. Victor Franco, 1984 Fernand Voutaz, Michel Piot, 1987 etc.) hailed the renewal of AOC Cahors, highlighting the qualities of Château de Haute-Serre and promising it a wonderful future.
Through years of relentless work, self-taught Georges Vigouroux, passed his passion for wine handed down to him by his forefathers on to his son, Bertrand-Gabriel, who joined the family firm in 1989 after studying oenology.
Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux does everything possible to perfect the work embarked upon by his father and to allow the Malbec vines planted on this unique terroir to give the best of themselves. The technical directions taken are without concession and the choices made are those of excellence: high density replanting (6 060 vines per hectare) use of eco-friendly vinegrowing and tending techniques, ageing in new oak barrels, trials with wood from different origins and work on toasting suitable to Malbec.
Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux is always looking for the best, and was one of the first people to experiment with in-barrel vinification, to the joy of lovers of great wines, and refuses to go the way of garage wines. The dimension of a vinegrower-winemaker and a vineyard should never be limited to a micro-cuvée but to his capacity to gain recognition for work that is global, precise and complex. Today Château de Haute-Serre is the result of the perfect match between a grape variety, a terroir and a family with passion. It has been consecrated by the greatest French and international press critics including La Revue du Vin de France, Hachette, Decanter, Weinwirtschaft and Wine Spectator. In the 21st century, Château de Haute Serre remains a vineyard that is a step ahead of the rest.
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