The Tour de Mirambeau château is the historical Despagne estate, passed down through eight generations by the family matriarchs.
It was Jean-Louis and Odile Despagne who were the driving force that built the reputation of the Château Tour de Mirambeau wines. This strong, generous, demanding and curious couple created the Despagne family values.
The Tour de Mirambeau is in fact an old mill the couple moved into the day after their wedding, and where they would stay until there was no more room for the growing family. The Tour de Mirambeau was a reflection of their personalities and became synonymous with improvised parties, conviviality, and sharing good times.
It is located in Rauzan, a medieval village in the Entre-Deux-Mers region famous for the subterranean cave carved out by a river that runs underneath our limestone terroir.
Odile and Jean-Louis were explorers, whose curiosity knew no bounds. Most notably, they spent many months traveling from one encounter to the next all across Africa. Living and realizing dreams, to them everything was possible.
LE PERAT was an old, disaffected winery in the Côtes-de-Bordeaux appellation. Covering more than 100 hectares, it is a magnificent estate. Although, what truly sets it apart is that it’s entirely surrounded by its vineyard. Originally built in 1780, it burned to the ground and was rebuilt on the same spot in 1920. Adorned with a tower and an adjoining chai, the main building is very impressive, but most of all due to its height.
When we arrived in 1998, the entire property was in a state of disrepair. Nonetheless, seeing its potential and inspired by the different terroirs, we decided to buy the château. We renamed the estate “Château Mont Pérat” in honor of the four small hills, which are the reason why the terroir is so diverse and of such high quality.
Finding and revealing the strengths hidden underneath.
The entire vineyard had to be replanted to bring it up 21st century quality standards (high density planting, vine to soil adequacy / terroir / rootstock / grape variety). After taking 400 core samples and digging 40 large trenches, we mapped out each parcel in detail to establish a 15-year restructuring plan for the vineyard.
Our next challenge was managing water drainage on the steep hills of the estate. From its highest point, culminating at 114 meters to its lowest at 63 meters, the vineyard is composed of abrupt slopes that we’ve had to allow for, and in some cases modify to derive maximum benefit from water flow.
Today, after 18 years of unrelenting effort, our mission is accomplished: what a pleasure for Thibault, his wife Anne and their family to stroll through the vineyard at MONT PERAT and see that the quality and abundance of grapes has exceeded our expectations.
Meanwhile, we are restoring the chai built in 1920. Our aim is to innovate and put one of the key tools of our trade to work in the service of an exceptional terroir (gravity flow winemaking, high quality receiving and sorting system, barrel cellar…).
Our mission: To confront the challenges of the next 20 years, while continually striving for excellence.
The main building on the estate is a 16th century fortified house, which overlooks the Engranne river valley in the north of Dordogne. Long before becoming “Bel Air”, it was built by a family originally from the Sarlat region in Perigord, the Lords of Perponcher. This connection with the Perponcher family is the guiding thread of an incredible story spanning centuries: the members of the Perponcher family were daring Protestant entrepreneurs exiled to the Dutch Republic when the Edict of Nantes was revoked. Many were writers and diplomats, as well as renowned military men under the Princes of Orange. In 1815, Hendrick Georg de Perponcher-Sedlnitzky’s strategy against the Maréchal Ney was so pivotal in the defeat of Napoleon he was hailed as the “hero of Waterloo”. In recognition of his actions and his heroism William I, the King of the Netherlands made him a Count.
Since 1990 we’ve been committed to bringing to life and putting the character of the Château Bel Air Perponcher on display. Our recent encounter and correspondence with one of the descendants of the Perponcher family has made it possible to finalize a decoration plan paying tribute to the history that has left its mark on our territory and our environment.
Formerly a hunting lodge in the 17th century, this winery sits at the entrance to Bordeaux with a vineyard covering 55 hectares. The white and red wines produced there have been recognized by the press, as being some of the best value wines in Bordeaux. Today, Gabriel and his wife Johanna have moved in and are very attached to their desire to make it ever more warm and welcoming.
In 1990, Joël Elissalde, a dear friend and partner of the Despagne family, had the opportunity to purchase an estate in the town of Tizac de Curton. Being the one who first recognized the potential of the vines, he became personally attached to the restructuring of the parcels, eventually increasing the size of the vineyard from 10 hectares to more than 22. He turned it into a beautiful place to call home, as much for Man as for Nature.
Naturally, the management of the vineyard, the vinification and the commercialization of the wine itself are handled by the Despagne team.