Estate Director – Frédéric Bonnaffous
Estate Manager – François Laura
Surface area – 59 Ha
Soil profile – 2 high deep gravel hills overlying clay subsoils; gravel-sand soils and clay outcrops.
How long have you worked at the château?
Since the beginning of January 2013.
I also still manage a 65-hectare family farm in the Gers, which is largely arable, and 55% of the area is farmed organically.
Before Belgrave, I was Technical Director in Cadillac-Côtes de Bordeaux at Château de BIROT, Beguey (an estate on the outer limit of Château Reynon owned by Denis Dubourdieu). For 8 years, I was making red wines, rosés, dry and sweet wines, working for its owner Éric Fournier, who previously owned Château Canon in St Emilion.
What can you tell us about the estate?
Château Belgrave is a 5th growth very much in the style of Saint Julien. The deep gravel hills produce Cabernet Sauvignon of great quality and the wines of Château Belgrave align concentration, complexity and finesse, underpinned by overwhelming freshness.
Work in the vineyard and the winery are managed on a strict vineyard by vineyard basis, and all decisions are reviewed and fine-tuned with each coming vintage.
This year, this handcrafted approach has moved up a notch with the aid of optical sorting for increased precision.
Your favourite time of the year on the estate?
Bottling, as this is the culmination of almost 2 year’s hard work and the unstinting focus of our teams.
Your favourite vintage?
During my time here, it would be the 2014 vintage (otherwise, 2010!)
My favourite vintage is 2014; Château Belgrave 2014 with its concentration, richness, finesse and complexity is mind-blowing. We will still be talking about it for many years to come.
Your greatest memory at the château?
Tasting the 2014 blends of such impressive quality.