Histoire 01

The history of Château LA GURGUE is closely linked to the village of Margaux. Two owners of the vineyard raced successfully to become mayors of Margaux.

The first was a wealthy Portuguese banker, Mr. Peixotto. In 1871, he extended the estate with the addition of beautiful vineyards which were located around the Parish of Margaux.

Later, another mayor of Margaux, Mr. Camille Lenoir became the owner of Château LA GURGUE. He gave his name to the Château and enriched it with some valuable plots surrounded by the vineyard of Château Margaux. They are located at Curton, on the best hill tops in Margaux. The Château then returned to its original name "LA GURGUE, which is a locality of the village.

Claire VILLARS LURTON is the architect of the present revival. Year after year, she has done her best to bring out the unique terroir of Château LA GURGUE in her wine.

Trained by her grandfather, Jacques Merlaut, she was 25 when she took over the management of Châteaux Ferrière, Haut-Bages Libéral and La Gurgue. She then undertook a major rebuilding of the wineries of her estates. In parallel, she has worked on the enhancement of the terroir and the practice of sustainable vine growing in order to reach the highest quality. In 2006, with her husband she bought a small estate in Saint-Estèphe, endowed with a very beautiful soil: Château Domeyne. In this new quality approach, Claire is determined to pursue the challenge of reviving the prestige of her estates and to mark their identities through the expression of the terroirs.

Claire VILLARS LURTON

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Claire VILLARS LURTON

Though she was born into a wine growers' family, Claire Villars Lurton did not intend to manage a property. She lived in Paris where she had a master's degree in chemistry and physics. She was preparing a thesis in physics dealing with the preservation of old books at the CNRS (NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH) when her parents died in an accident in 1992. She decided to get actively involved in the management of the family properties. She gave up her studies and joined her grandfather Jacques Merlaut to continue the work of her mother Bernadette Villars Merlaut.

 
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With flawless energy and determination, Claire took control of Château Chasse-Spleen which she has maintained at the top of the hierarchy of the Cru Bourgeois classification.

At the same time, Claire studied vine growing and oenology at the University of Bordeaux with outstanding professors such as Yves Glories and Denis Dubourdieu. However, her main tutor was her grandfather, Jacques Merlaut. He taught her how to discipline her energy and sort out what is essential.

In 1994 she married with Gonzague Lurton, the owner of Château Durfort-Vivens, a 2nd Classified Growth in Margaux. Together, they purchased Château Domeyne, in Saint-Estèphe in 2006 and the Trinité Estate vineyard in 2012. This estate Located in the North of California, the property produces one of the greatest wines of Sonoma County named : Acaibo.

Since 2000, the year when the family estates were shared, Claire has been at 100% involved in the management of the properties that have belonged to her. Through her work, Château La Gurge has improved its elegance, Château Ferrière has found a new youth allying power and finesse. As for Château Haut-Bages Libéral, the wine completed its powerful Pauillac style with a touch of feminine elegance.

Beyond the technical improvements brought years after years to each of the properties, Claire's main achievement has been to make out the best of the great terroir under her care. According to Claire, biodynamic farming is the key of the success.

 
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