This was really a journey into the unknown. Just recently some friends took a trip to France and happened upon this winery. They liked the wine so much that they had some shipped back home. They were kind enough to share a bottle with us which was not only a pleasurable evening, but also an eye-opening experience.

Chateau du Payre is just east of Bordeaux And set on the banks of the Garonne River. It is a family business with a twist in that it has been passed down from mother to daughter since 1881. It was in that year that the Domain du Vic was purchased by the Roussereau brothers, one of whom married Marie Dumas and this began the chain. Oddly, it was not until 1954 when Mr. Jean-Pierre Arnaud who was married to Simone, Mme. Dumas’ granddaughter, took a trip to Paris to buy his first car that the first bottles of wine were sold. In post-war Europe direct wine sales were kind of an entrepreneurial business. In 1960, Mr. Gino Marcuzzi married their daughter Monique and their daughter Valerie currently runs the business. Today, the winery, tours and tourism including a bed and breakfast and other cultural activities are all a part of this growing empire.

Garonne River

Bordeaux wines come from the region of France with the same name. Viticulture was introduced by the Romans when the area was under the rule of The Empire. Its popularity took off when in 1152 Henry Plantagenet married Eleanor of Aquitaine and the wine was exported to England. This led to such a lucrative business that during the seventeenth century the French Navy would escort ships doing business in the area to protect them from the Huguenot pirates and privateers. Disaster struck in 1875 when vineyards were practically destroyed by a phylloxera infestation which actually lasted until 1892. The vines were almost miraculously preserved by grafting the native vines with some brought from America which were more insect resistant.

Today, the Chateau du Payre enjoys Terra Vitis certification which is a promise to sustainable development partially based on environmental balance. The Roman god of wine, Bacchus, has been revered by winemakers throughout history and this extends here. There is a reverence, a respect for the land, the environment, the process and especially for the family name which is evident in each bottle produced. An interesting aside, in the eighteenth century, the knight Lamothe-Cadillac is sent to Louisiana as governor and brings with him his favorite nectar: the wines of the Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. He will give his name one hundred and fifty years later to the famous luxury car firm, taking with him the AOC Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux in the legend of luxury and the art of living.

Bordeaux is a hearty wine with lots of earthy flavor, much like its Italian counterpart, Sangiovese. It is an excellent drinking wine which remains long on the palate. This wine in particular boasts of a truly wonderful bouquet. One notices not only the essence of the grapes but also of dark berries. I have to say that it does go better with foods such as strong cheese, beef or game. But, we paired it with butternut squash soup. Now, this soup is a simple meal with a slightly rich consistency and rich flavor combination of the squash, garlic and chicken stock. An excellent serving suggestion is to add some heavy cream to the bowl, which we all did, which added to the richness of the flavor. Sometimes, especially with the heavy cream added, with the food or the wine can be overcome, but this was not the case at all here. Each stood up very well and complemented each other.

In the glass the wine is a deep garnet in color which reflects light beautifully. It will definitely benefit from aerating for up to an hour which we did and some extra time in the glass. Nice legs and consistent tannins add to the experience. This is a good wine for a special occasion but it will also brighten up a weeknight meal very nicely.

Now, because the wine was bought overseas, I don’t know of its availability here. But you can contact the winery for shipping, and while you’re at it, if you have any plans of traveling, you can also look into the restaurant and the beautiful accommodations. As for my rating, I would give this wine a very solid 9 out of an unattainable 10 grapes for taste and versatility. A new experience that was well worth taking.

Alcohol – 13%
Price – contact Chateau du Payre for an accurate quote.

Your comments are always welcome!


Published by JC home

Retired and loving life in North Carolina. Writing was always an interest, so I decided to give this a try. Former teacher, Wall Street Brokerage Associate and Postmaster for USPS.


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