The château and its history

The château and its history

( 1700 )
( 1700 )

Bourdieu de la Gravette

Known in the late 17th century under the name “Bourdieu de La Gravette”, the Couhins estate belonged to Maître Alphonse Banchereau, a famous Bordeaux notary.

The area under vine was virtually identical to what it is today: ten hectares of farmland and vineyards on the finest gravelly rises in the parish of Villenave d’Ornon.

The château and its history

( 1730 )
( 1730 )

Notaries of the Archbishop of Bordeaux

In 1730, Maître Alphonse Banchereau handed over the estate to his eldest son, Jean-Baptiste Banchereau, a Bordeaux notary like his father. Jean-Baptiste turned the estate into a calm, pleasant place, which he regularly visited to oversee work in the vineyards, and actively promoted his wines to his many clients, including négociants and personalities (the Archbishop Ferdinand-Maximilien-Mériadec de Rohan).

The Banchereau family remained at the head of the estate for over a century, taking time to install modern comforts and facilities, and build a manor house around the turn of the 19th century.

The château and its history

( 1805 )
( 1805 )

A tumultuous period for estate owners

1805 marked the beginning of a turbulent period for Bourdieu de La Gravette. After nearly twenty years of inheritance disputes between the nine Banchereau children, one of the girls, Thérèse, wife of Bonhomme-Lapointe, finally inherited the estate in 1822, before handing it over to a friend and linen bleacher, Constant Mallet, in 1832. In 1844, the estate was sold to Charles Mougenot. In 1847, it was bought at auction by Antoine Pestré.

The château and its history

( 1855 )
( 1855 )

A return to tranquillity

In 1855, Antoine Lair, a wood merchant, purchased the estate. From this moment on, “Domaine de la Gravette” was restored to its former tranquillity. In 1883, Antoine Lair’s granddaughter, Catherine Sérès, wife of Victor Hanappier, inherited the estate.

This marked the beginning of the château’s renovation and embellishment: the building was repaired and the grounds were designed by Louis Le Breton, a famous landscape gardener who had already created many gardens in Bordeaux and the South of France.

The château and its history

( 1898 )
( 1898 )

Predominantly red vines

At the time, Château Couhins stretched out over 17 hectares, with seven hectares dedicated to viticulture: one hectare of 50-year-old French vines, and six replanted by Victor Hanappier after the phylloxera crisis, under the direction of businessman Auguste Videau. Cabernet Sauvignon was the main grape variety in the vineyard, with only 0.75 hectares devoted to white Sémillon.

The entire estate was lovingly tended to, and the owner was rewarded a Gold Medal for his efforts from the Gironde Society of Agriculture.

The château and its history

( 1902 )
( 1902 )

A flourishing reputation

Henri and Georges Hanappier inherited the estate. Originally from the Orléans region, the Hanappier family first came to settle in Bordeaux in 1817. They founded a major wine and spirits firm, Hanappier & Cie, in the Chartrons district.

The Hannapiers, followed by the Gasquetons (who married into the family in the 20th century) used Couhins as their country residence. Meanwhile, the estate acquired a fine reputation for its outstanding red wines and, later, its whites during the Belle Époque era.

The château and its history

( 1959 )
( 1959 )

A well-deserved classification

The quality of Château Couhins’ white wines was officially recognised in 1959 by the INAO (Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité), when they were classified Graves growths.

The château and its history

( 1967 )
( 1967 )

A vineyard saved from disappearing

A spate of difficult vintages, followed by the death of Édouard Gasqueton, led his widow to uproot the estate’s vines in 1967. When he heard of the news, André Lurton volunteered to look after the estate, and consequently saved the 2 remaining hectares of vines. Three years later, the vineyard was sold to the SAFER (Société d’Aménagement Foncier et d’Établissement Rural), which undertook to divide and sell it.

Gilbert Comte, a pharmacist in Villenave d’Ornon, purchased the abandoned château and cellars. The remainder was sold to the INRA (National Institute of Agricultural Research). The leasehold agreement, which was concluded a few years earlier with André Lurton, was renewed until 1978, when the INRA took back vineyard management at Couhins.

The château and its history

( 1972 )
( 1972 )

Château Couhins-Lurton established

André Lurton purchased 1.5 hectares of vines from the INRA, and founded a new vineyard, Château Couhins-Lurton, labelled a Graves classified growth.

The château and its history

( 1992 )
( 1992 )

The completion of a prestigious vineyard

In 1992, André Lurton purchased the château, cellars, outbuildings and beautiful estate grounds from Monsieur and Madame Comte, thereby completing the creation of a prestigious estate. From then on, this 6-hectare vineyard, planted exclusively with Sauvignon Blanc, was tended to with meticulous care.

In 1998, the château and cellar underwent a major renovation.

The estate grounds were restored to their former splendour thanks to Bordeaux architect Anouck Debarre.

The château and its history

( 2002 )
( 2002 )

The return of the red grape varieties

In September 2002, the first Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, grown on a beautiful plot with gravel soil, were sent to be crushed in Couhins-Lurton’s brand-new cellar. A tradition going back more than a century was thus reborn. In fact, Couhins produced 90% red wine until 1910.

Recently-produced red wines from Château Couhins have received positive reviews from critics, and their production represents a true renaissance.

The château and its history

( 2012 )
( 2012 )

Creation of the Grands Crus Division

A fresh look by the entire Vignobles André Lurton winemaking team led to the creation of the Grands Crus Division with a single objective: to make great wines to increasingly higher standards. A new set of specifications were established in order to improve quality. This ambitious programme involved numerous parameters: vineyards, cellars, human resources, technical methods, and environmental protection. Today, Château Couhins-Lurton and Château La Louvière benefit from the best expertise, worthy of their outstanding terroirs.

The château and its history

( 2017 )
( 2017 )

HEV certification reflecting new eco-friendly practices

Since 2010, Château Couhins-Lurton has been committed to improving winemaking practices with a reduced environmental impact. This has led us, along with all other Vignobles André Lurton estates, to obtain HVE (High Environmental Value) certification, the most demanding level for agricultural activities. Our efforts and investments over several years have led to tangible results and qualified us for this high level of certification.

Find out more about Château Couhins-Lurton’s environmentally sustainable practices.

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