Here are 3 Buzet AOC estates that are worth discovering, all with their own atypical history. The reasons that unite the vineyards and wine lovers are simply the same: the love for wine is indefinite and one of the best moments will always remain the opening of the bottle and its tasting!
Domaine de Versailles at Montagnac-sur-Auvignon
This estate is located in Montagnac-sur-Auvignon. Hélène Singlande looks after the family winery, she takes care of the viticulture as well as selling local wines. The vineyard was created thanks to a family of merchants who started farming when they fled the war.
In 1937, the family moved to Montagnac-sur-Auvignon to raise sheep and plant about 4 hectares of vines. In 1969, they began to produce wine.
In 1974, one of their sons took over his land due to a family death, then developed the business by enlarging the surface area of the plantation as well as the materials used to make the wine.
In 2008, Hélène Singlande took over the vineyard and has continued to enlarge the heritage while keeping her own identity.
The vineyard now covers an area of 7 hectares!
Their wines are made with rigour and finesse, which pleases their consumers enormously. With all their years of experience, they take care of everything, from growing to selling their products!
Previously, the land was swampy. Gradually, the land became arable. This is why the place is called “Versailles”.
Many historians have put forward certain theories about the meaning of the famous word “Versailles”, the most consistent one being that of Leriche. Henri Lemoine wrote, in 1960: “the meaning of this word is: land cleared, ploughed or poured. This term describes the action of the plough which, after having cracked the earth, pours it on its side. This is the meaning of the primitive meaning of versare, which means “to turn over”.
Putting the words “versare” and « semailles » – sowing in Franch – together would give the name “Versailles”. Versailles would indicate new cultivated land that was not originally arable.
To verify this theory, we actually find that the Versailles estate as it is today, was formerly marshland fed by 3 springs which have become simple streams.
Lieu dit Versailles, 47600 Montagnac-sur-Auvignon
Domaine Salisquet at Vianne
Audrey is a photographer, in 2009 she stopped her profession to start her career as a winegrower by taking over part of her father’s vineyards. Her father had already been a winegrower for 30 years.
From 2010, the first vinification takes shape. The family is therefore honoured and very proud of the wine made from their vines!
Previously, the differences between the soils of the Gironde and Gascony have decomposed the Bordeaux vineyards with those of the South-West.
Indeed, the Garonne has its source in the Pyrenees and ends up flowing into the Atlantic Ocean very close to Bordeaux. The businesses that settled there during the geological eras and the landslides that took place are responsible for the multiple textures of the soil along the river. But also, the territory of Buzet is not far from the Landes forest massif, which includes multiple pine forests with sandy soils.
The terroir is therefore atypical, due to the texture of the soil but also to the relief. Faults and landslides have made slopes that drain water and therefore benefit from more light.
Thanks to the Garonne, which naturally brings back gravel coming straight from the Pyrenees, the gravel on the hillsides is special because it keeps the heat and takes advantage of the Cabernet Francs to reach beautiful maturity.
Their Merlots as for them are on gravelly clay, rich and fertile, which allows them to cultivate a deep fruit with floral aromas as well as a soft unctuousness.
And on a sublime 3-hectare plot where limestone-clay, clay and gravel are mixed, their Cabernet Sauvignons express their full structural capacities.
Calezun, 47230 Vianne
Château du Frandat at Nérac
In 2008, Laetitia and Mickaël took over the family vineyard. Their thoughtful practices allow them to acquire healthy, high-quality grapes expressing the best of our terroir. They are independent winegrowers who master each step, from the cultivation to the resale of their wines.
The birth of Château du Frandat dates back to the Merovingian era. The castle was ransacked and burnt down in 1342. Then in 1623, Pierre Le Venier became the happy owner. In 1652, the castle was looted and largely burnt during the Sling of the Princes under Louis XIV. In the 1700s, the Le Venier family decided to rebuild it.
It was subsequently confiscated and sold during the French Revolution to a new owner who called himself Joseph Duroy. During the second half of the 19th century, the property continued to be a wine estate, belonging to Louis Sibrac. Between 1880 and 1980, this property saw a good dozen owners, including Jean-Louis Sibrac, who made the final changes to the château. He decided to market the wine in France as well as other of his lands.
In 1980, Patrice and Sabine Sterlin decided to buy the property but the winery was not used for several years. In 1989, the Sterlins decided to become independent to vinify and market their wine.
As a result, major investments were made during the 1990s, particularly in the construction of a stainless steel vat cellar equipped with thermo-regulation, but also in the development of a barrel cellar. Their daughter Laetitia and son-in-law Mickaël Le Biavant have been running the business since 2008.
This 300 year old wine-growing estate is in a perfect geographical location. To date, they have 26 hectares of Merlot vines, composed of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon which are used for the vinification of Buzet rosé and red wines. There are also 2 hectares of Colombard and Ugni-blanc, which are used to make white wine for the distillation of Armagnac brandies that will age for many years in their cellar. From 2017, they have planted 2.5 hectares of Malbec, Syrah and Marselan which is then vinified in Côtes de Gascogne. Finally, they also produce prune d’Ente on a 6 hectare plot of land to make prune d’Agen.
970 Route d’Agen, 47600 Nérac