SENSE OF PLACE
Domaine Bonabaud covers 25 hectares of forests, rivers, and prairies surrounding a series of small, but contiguous, vineyard plots forming Château Gauthier and Château Nézereau. The estate sits at the confines of the Blaye, Bourg and Fronsac wine appellations, at the heart of the broader Cotes-de-Bordeaux region. The predominantly tertiary alluvial soil is testimony to the vineyards' location on the former banks of the Nézereau River, a tributary of the Dordogne. Both the elevation and sandy nature of the terroir mean our wines are notable for their finesse and drinkability. Our wines may be best enjoyed after 3 to 5 years, or kept for ageing for up to 15 years.
Our Terroir, Our Appellation
Bordeaux’s history as a wine region started in Blaye. The city was originally founded as a Roman fortress to guard the estuary of the Garonne river. The Romans were the first ones to plant vines for their own consumption, but also in an attempt to settle farmers in the area.
Blaye then evolved into a city of national strategic importance when the French Monarch Louis XIV transformed it into the mightiest fortified city on French coast, with one and only objective: protect Bordeaux, and its vineyards. Blaye's winemaking tradition has crossed centuries until today, vibrant and resilient.
The 'Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux' appellation, formerly known as "Premieres Côtes de Blaye", is a hilly and woody region covering 5,500 hectares, 5% of the total Bordeaux wine region. It is located 30 km North of Bordeaux and is at the centre of one of the finest wine terroirs in world: facing Pauillac and its Classified Grand Crus just 4 km across the Gironde estuary to the West, the region is also fringed by Fronsac to the East, and Cognac to the North, home to the world's best wine brandies.
We, as wine farmers, view ourselves are mere keepers of our land, responsible for ensuring conditions are right for the next generation to perpetuate France's winemaking traditions.
To us, wine farming is about keeping it simple, and about reflecting the vineyard in the bottle from year to year, season to season. Ecological wine farming means we spend our time, effort, and energy in the vineyard so we don’t have to use harmful chemicals to deal with challenges in the vineyard. Wine farming is about carefully tending the vines and growing beautiful grapes, but it is also about getting picking dates right, applying the appropriate pressing, and nursing the wine from the field to the bottle. We do the hard yards caring for the vines, doing all we can to ensure we produce fruits of amazing quality, something that is the basis of all great wines.
To us, ecological wine farming is not just about growing grapes organically; it also implies to carefully plan each step of the winemaking value chain, from grape to glass, so our business stays socially, environmentally and commercially sustainable for generations to come. For instance, we ban chemical pesticides and fertlisers, practice dry farming, only work with skilled workers of our local community (and pay them well), do not add any additives or flavouring to our wines, package our wines in new generations of French-made carton boxes, and bottles, which are light, 100% recyclable and yet very resistant, so our wines can travel well while minimising our environmental footprint.
At Domaine Bonabaud, we thrive to bring the consistent value and quality of Côtes de Bordeaux wines, together with the most stringent production standards on the market. In 2020, our estate has been awarded France's "HIGH ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE" (HAUTE VALEUR ENVIRONNEMENTALE en francais) certification for its outstanding farming practices and efforts to protect biodiversity in and about the vineyard. We also signed the "NATURA 2000" charter on natural water preservation.