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André LURTON

Home > Our Company > The women and the men > LURTON André
André Lurton

Group President

In the beginning...

  • Birth at Château Bonnet
portrait André Lurton enfant

André Lurton first saw the light of day at Château Bonnet in Grézillac, in the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers, in the middle of the grape harvest on 4 October 1924. This timing foretold the destiny of this man who would go on to devote a large part of his life to viticulture.

Andre's education began at a private school in Branne before he was sent to Saint-Joseph de Tivoli in Bordeaux as a boarder at the age of 7, and then to another Catholic institution in Bazas run by the Bétharram Fathers. The eight years he spent there seemed like an eternity to this freedom-loving adolescent who loved nothing more than to wander around the countryside and vineyards at Bonnet.

  • The war years
andré Lurton jeep driver army 1945

André Lurton, jeep driver in the French Army in 1945.

When the Second World War broke out, and despite his young age, André could only think about joining the Free French forces in England or elsewhere and becoming a pilot. It was only by fighting the Nazis in the French Forces of the Interior ("Groupe Roland"), that he was able to bide his time. When he turned 20, during the autumn of 1944, he and a few friends succeeded in meeting up with the 1st French Army, commanded by General de Lattre de Tassigny,  in the Boucle du Doubs in eastern France. He was commissioned to drive a jeep for the Support Company of the 2nd Bataillion of the 6th Regiment of Senegalese Tirailleurs (later to become the 6th French Colonial Infantry Regiment). He took part in all the First Army military operations: the liberation of Alsace and the rest of France, the "Colmar Pocket" containment operation in harsh winter conditions in 1945 and a long campaign in Germany until the armistice was signed. He was decorated with the Croix de Guerre for his courage under fire...

André Lurton has never forgot this period of his life and is always ready to talk about the long battles, his friendships during these difficult, dangerous times, and many other memories...

  • Back to the earth...

At the age of 21, after a year and a half in the army, André Lurton returned to the family vineyards to help his father François Lurton, who had managed Château Bonnet since the death of his father-in-law, Léonce Récapet, in 1942. André Lurton owes his love of viticulture and much of his expertise to his grandfather, Léonce, whose winegrowing career began in 1897.

Several years later, in 1953, when his youngest brother Dominique reached the age of 18, the family vineyard holdings were divided among the four Lurton children.  André, the oldest, naturally inherited Château Bonnet. From then on he developed a true passion for winemaking. He battles were now focused on defending the world of agriculture in general and Bordeaux winegrowers in particular. He threw himself wholeheartedly into working on behalf many organizations to protect local terroirs and promote viticulture.

Alongside these activities, André Lurton spent the rest of his available time bringing Château Bonnet up to its full potential and expanding the vineyards. He replanted most of the vines after the killing frost of 1956. Once Château Bonnet was up to his standards, he began looking for new terroirs in the Graves, Saint-Emilion and elsewhere.

See the corporate history

 

Defending winegrowing: a lifelong commitment... in a few dates.

-1948/1953-

   

Founder then President of the Departmental Young Farmers Circle (Gironde - 4000 members).

-1953/1956-   
 

   

André Lurton was elected President of the National Young Farmers Circle (CNJA), an independent national association.

-1953/1959-

   

Secretary General and then President of the Syndicat Viticole (Winegrowers Association) of the Entre-Deux-Mers. Thanks to a major effort mobilising winegrowers in this region, he and his friends managed to restore the appellation's former glory. In conjunction with such eminent specialists as Emile Peynaud, specifications were defined to produce quality dry white wines. This marked the birth of great dry white wine in the Entre-Deux-Mers. For the first time, quality control and taste control tests were instituted in order for wines to be entitled to the appellation.

-1954/1984-

   

André Lurton was elected to the Gironde department Chamber of Agriculture, where he was Vice-President for 24 years. He contributed immensely to creating organisations working on behalf of the Gironde's agricultural development.

- 1958 -

   

President and founder of the Regional Agricultural Union for Branne (serving growers by offering consultancy services on production and estate-management techniques.

       

-1958/1998-

   

President and founder of the Grézillac Oenological Study & Information Centre. The centre advocates modern vinification techniques, aiming to improve the quality of members' production.

-1965/1987-

   

Vice President of the Syndicat Viticole des Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur (largest wine syndicate in France, numbering over 6000 members).

-1966/1986-

   

Director, CIVB (Bordeaux Wine-Trade Council).

- 1966 -
 

   

André Lurton joined the  Syndicat Viticole des Hautes Graves de Bordeaux.

-1973/2005-

   

Member of the Board of Directors of the Fédération des Syndicats des Grands Vins de Bordeaux AOC (in charge of Protection of Terroirs).

- 1974 -
 

   

President of the Syndicat Viticole des Hautes Graves de Bordeaux.

-1987/2005-

   

President and founder of the Syndicat Viticole de Pessac-Léognan, instigator of the eponymous Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, for which he obtained official recognition by the tutelary Ministries in September 1987, after 23 years of arduous negotiation. He will remain President until 2005.

manifestation paysanes années 1950
André Lurton tracteur 1950
André Lurton congrès années 1950