bannière histoire La Louvière
Our Company
Search for a wine

Do you have a special event to celebrate or are you planning a diner with friends? We will help you to find the perfect wine.

Newsletter

Sign up here to receive our newsletter

Did You know ?
Is decanting useful or not ?
Did you know ?
Suivez-nous
   

History

Home > Our Company > History

Wine : "Notre raisin d'être "...

Our corporate history is inseparable from that of a great family of Bordeaux winegrowers, the Lurtons , who have strived for excellence in their Bordeaux wines for decades, as well as in other great terroirs around the world. 

This family's passion for viticulture goes back a long way.

Château Bonnet and vineyard 1915

Château Bonnet and its vineyard around 1915

Their ancestors, the Récapets, came from several small parishes near the famous village of Saint-Emilion. Millers in the mid 17th century, they were also winegrowers in their spare time like many others country dwellers at that time.

Léonce Récapet, the patriarch...

Léonce Récapet image

Léonce Récapet

Two centuries later, after marrying into other local families, the Récapets moved several km south of Saint-Emilion to Branne, on the banks of the Dordogne, a large busy market town.

Jean-François Récapet, called "Léonce", was born there in 1858. He is responsible for the family's passion for fine wine. As an adult, he took over a small liqueur factory founded several years previous by his father and uncle. They helped to show him how to make the most of his natural curiosity and lively intelligence. In fact, he learned more from them than he would have from years of study... He ended up taking over and modernizing the distillery, applying modern marketing methods before their time. Forging solid commercial links, he also increased the range to include rum, wine flavoured with cinchona, fruit syrups, etc. The small family firm prospered.

In 1894, Léonce married Emma Thibeaud, the daughter of a winegrower in Moulon whose family included a number of coopers.  Once again, viticulture was in the family genes.

In 1890, in the middle of the Bordeaux phylloxera crisis, Léonce Récapet, nevertheless took his courage in both hands and bought two small estates, Bélair and Montremblant, hoping for better days to come.

étiquette château Bonnet 1905

In 1897, he acquired Château Bonnet , in Grézillac, with 47 hectares of vines and meadows... The estate was in poor condition, but this did not discourage him.  On the contrary, he saw this as a challenge to match his abilities. This avant-gardiste viewed Bonnet as a wonderful opportunity to experiment with replanting and selecting the best grape varieties for each vineyard plot. He built new cellars in 1902 and made use of steampower to help during the vintage.

Léonce read a great deal and kept up to date with the latest grapegrowing and winemaking techniques, adopting the best ones. 
He married Emma Thibeaud and they had three children: Marie, André and Denise.
The couple placed there greatest hopes in André, who was sent to study at the International Agricultural Institute in Beauvais, famous for training the best managers in the field.  War broke out with Germany just as he finished his studies as an agricultural engineer, and he was inducted into the army. He died at the battle of Verdun in spring 1916, brutally cutting short an extremely promising career.

François Lurton, Denise Récapet and their children: expertise perpetuated to the next generation

Denise Récapet image

Denise Récapet

Léonce's youngest child, Denise Récapet, inherited everything that had belonged to her father. In 1923, she married 1923, a local man, François Lurton, whose family roots were in central France (the Berry). The young couple lived in Château Bonnet and managed the estate along with Léonce Récapet.

In 1925, the family bought Château Brane-Cantenac, in the Médoc, a second growth in the 1855 classification. A few years later, Léonce became a shareholder in the illustrious Château Margaux..

François Lurton image

François Lurton

The family's happiness would have been complete if Denise had not died in 1934. She left behind four young orphans: André, born in 1924       , Lucien in 1925, Simone in 1929 and Dominique in 1932. However, the family's mourning eventually came to an end and life continued. Léonce closely managed the estate that would come into his grandchildren's hands upon his death in 1943. His son-in-law, François Lurton, assisted him until Dominique turned 18 in 1953.

At that time, the family vineyard holdings were divided among Denise's four children. André, the oldest child, kept Château Bonnet. Lucien inherited Brane-Cantenac and Dominique received Château Reynier. The torched had been passed... as well as the passion for winegrowing that motivated Léonce Récapet throughout his life...

Milestones since 1953 ...

1953
André Lurton inherited the historic family estate Château Bonnet in Grézillac and continued the work begun in 1897 by his grandfather, Léonce Récapet. Today, over 300 hectares of vines entitled to the Entre-Deux-Mers and Bordeaux appellations surround the château and Vignobles André Lurton corporate headquarters.
1953
1965
Purchase of Château La Louvière in Léognan, which marked André Lurton's arrival in the Graves region, the historic cradle of Bordeaux wine. It took fifty years to completely overhaul this estate, whose fine reputation goes back a very long way. André Lurton replanted, modernised, and renovated, making sure to preserve everything worth keeping at this jewel of the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
1965
1970
Purchase of Château Couhins-Lurton. Tenant farmer at Couhins since 1967, André Lurton was able to save this Graves great growth from disappearance in the nick of time. The estate was classified in 1953 for its white wines, which are made exclusively with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The vineyard is tended with meticulous care.
1970
1973
Purchase of Château de Cruzeau in Saint-Médard d’Eyrans (Pessac-Léognan appellation). This estate has an outstanding gravelly terroir, but had been totally abandoned and needed to be renovated from top to bottom. This has since been done. The red and white wines of Château de Cruzeau are popular with lovers of fine wine in France and abroad...
1973
1974
Purchase of Château de Rochemorin in Martillac. The old château built in the Périgourdin style is imbued with the spirit of its former owner, the famous philosopher Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, author of "The Persian Letters". The vineyards surround the château and grow on soil that is ideal for making fine wine.
1974
1985
Purchase of Château de Quantin, in the commune of Saint-Médard d’Eyrans (Pessac-Léognan appellation), with thirty hectares of beautiful gravel soil. The vineyards had been abandoned, and Quantin was a horse farm for years. André Lurton's arrival gave the estate a new lease on life.
1985
1990

Purchase of Château Grossombre, by Béatrice, one of André Lurton's daughters. This very old manor, which records show date back to at least 1484, had a small vineyard attached to it. This was expanded to reach the present day figure of 25 hectares of vines.

 

1990
1992
Purchase of the château and cellars of Couhins-Lurton. This operation was the logical conclusion of the vineyard acquisition several years earlier. The château and winery buildings called for major refurbishing as did the grounds that had been designed a hundred years previous by landscape artist Louis Le Breton. This was completed in 2001.
1992
1992
Vignobles André Lurton becomes a shareholder in the Société d’Exploitation de Château Dauzac, a fifth growth Margaux. Onwed by the MAIF mutual insurance company, Dauzac was looking for a partnership with an experienced winegrower to restore its former reputation.
1992
1999
Construction of a new barrel cellar, designed by architect Jean-Philippe Phucat, at Château de Cruzeau, with a capacity of 1,500 barrels. This was the last phase of work begun in 1988 with the building of a new vat room, followed by a laboratory and offices in 1991.
1999
2000
Purchase of a 50% shareholding in Château de Barbe Blanche. The other half belongs to Mr André Magnon. This beautiful 28-hectare vineyard is located in the heart of the Lussac-Saint-Emilion appellation. Merlot is the main grape variety in the estate's fine red wines.
2000
2001
Inauguration of the new cellars at Château Couhins-Lurton. These were designed by architect Olivier de Serech de Saint-Avit, who unfortunately passed away during the building stage, which was executed and overseen by Vignobles André Lurton. A huge chestnut beam requested by André Lurton put the finishing touch on this fine achievement.
2001
2004
First use of totally neutral screw cap closures (which entirely keep out oxygen and eliminate corked wines and the risk of accidental oxidation). Part of the 2003 vintage of white wines at Châteaux La Louvière, Couhins-Lurton and Bonnet were bottled with this type of closure.
2004
2005
Inauguration of the new cellars at Château de Rochemorin. Technology and innovation were combined to make the most of a fine terroir: temperature-controlled vats, air-conditioned barrel cellar and a new densimetric grape sorting machine for the red wines: "le Tribaie". Only the highest quality grapes are now retained... The winemaking facility is now ideally suited to this great terroir.
2005
2007
Acquisition de deux pressoirs sous azote pour les blancs du château La Louvière. Ces nouveaux procédés permettent d’éviter tout contact du jus de raisin avec l’oxygène de l’air durant le pressurage et d’échapper aux phénomènes d’oxydation enzymatique. Les qualités aromatiques du vin sont ainsi mieux préservées.
2007
2009
Inauguration of a new semi-underground cellar for red wines at Château La Louvière. This very aesthetic yet functional building necessitated 2,000 m3 of concrete and can hold a thousand barrels. A sophisticated air-conditioning system maintains an ideal temperature for ageing wine.
2009
 
 
   

Our "Savoir-faire" : Growing vines

Our "Savoir-faire" : Making red wines

Making rosé wines

Making white wines