With hundreds of acres of vineyards, including those at Chateau de Pennautier in the AOC of Cabardès as well as several other wineries acquired by the family in recent years in neighboring AOCs, Vignobles de Lorgeril is surely one of the larger producers in the Languedoc. It is a family company, and though the current generation of Lorgerils (Nicolas and Miren) is quite young, the current owners descend directly from the original (1620) Marquis de Pennautier - Bernard de Pennautier, who was also the Treasurer of the state of Languedoc. On July 14, 1622, Bernard received the young King Louis XIII - who left his traveling poster-bed at the estate as a royal merci. The Chateau itself has been called “The Versailles of the South”, and indeed the Chateau was built by Le Vau, the very architect of Versailles. At the same time, the surrounding gardens were designed by the renowned landscape gardner Le Notre. The Chateau is listed as a French historic monument.
The Chateau is situated in the tiny AOC of Cabardès (total AOC vineyards - 450 Ha). The appellation requires at least 40% Bordelaise varietals and 40% “Mediterranean” varietals (Grenache, Syrah, etc). The reason this formula works so well may simply be the Tramontane, the sweeping winds that suck Atlantic air between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central into this dry area. Or perhaps it’s the stony, calcareous, limestone substrate that causes the grapes to suffer and the wines to express such lovely fruit and terroir.
The historic medieval city of Carcassonne is 5 km from the village and castle of Pennautier, the Black Mountain lies a short distance to the north, and the Pyrenees to the south. Indeed the concept of “freshness of altitude” is central to the success of Lorgeril vineyards - a way to ensure elegance and balance in the warm, mediterranean climate. No herbicides are used (or needed) in this dry climate.
Eonology is overseen by consultant Patrick Léon, formerly Technical Director of Domaines Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and resident winemaker Jean-Christophe Briet.
Winery: Vignobles Lorgeril
Region: Languedoc, Le Sud (Languedoc, Southern France)
Locale: Pennautier, France