Château Pape Clément
We are not that sure there is a ranking of the oldest wineries in the world still in business today, but we are sure that, if available, Château Pape Clement would be part of it by right in light of the first harvest attributable to 1252.
What was called at the time Domaine de la Mothe, was bought in 1299 by Gaillard de Gothe on behalf of his brother Bertrand, archbishop of Bordeaux. When Gaillard passed away in 1306, the Pessac estate in the Graves passed to his brother, who in the meantime became Pope with the name of Clement V: from that moment on the myth of this iconic Château was born, contributing to make the viticulture of the Graves, a production area made of absolutely extraordinary wines, recognized for its greatness thanks to the classification of Grand Cru Classés dating back to 1959.
Today’s Château Pape Clement is a reality guided by the foresight of Bernard Magrez, a wine entrepreneur who invested in the Pessac winery in 1980 to bring it back to the right place it deserved after years of difficulty. New winemaking techniques were introduced together with a fresh way of making wine thanks to the new production cellar and barrel cellar built in the 2000s, taking the best out of a production process by gravity and vinifying and refining by parcels, before final assembly.
Champion of the Bordeaux blend based on the classic Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc and Merlot grapes, Château Pape Clement has also become over the years a reference for dry white wines, which are also particularly praised by international critics.
Starting from the original nucleus of Pessac which strenuously resists overbuilding, the parcels of Château Pape Clement are managed with great skill according to the Terra Vitis specifications, halfway between traditional and organic agriculture and with an eye to the entire production chain, interpreted to preserve both the surrounding environment and the health of the consumer.
The resulting wines are traditional Bordeaux blends whose elegance is known and appreciated throughout the world, with a complex and an olfactory-taste spectrum changing over time thanks to a bottle aging that plays well with the high aging potential.
At the very end, if people have been making wine in Pessac for over 750 years, there must be an excellent reason and undoubtedly Pope Clement V before and Bernard Magrez today had the foresight to appreciate the potential of the Graves to the fullest.