History of Château Morillon
Discover Château Morillon, our organic vineyard, located in the region of Blaye, its history dating from the middle Ages. The current owners advocate the production of sustainable wines.
A little history about Château Morillon
Château Morillon, from the Middle Ages….
Like all the stories, it always starts with a legend. Much before the Renaissance château surrounded by Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wine varieties, there used to be a feudal castle : let’s go back to the era of St Louis.
At that time, Morillon belonged to the Brun de Gadeau family, famous and powerful lords in the region. This big reputation appealed King Saint-Louis who stayed there 1242, further to his big victories in Saintes & Taillebourg against Henri III, the king of England.
According to legend, Louis found this a haven of peace and an ideal place to rest with his troups. It is said that his ghost lives in the estate.
…To the modern era
During the French revolution, further to the immigration of René Joseph Brun de Gadeau (Deputy Commandant at the citadel of Blaye, a recipient of the Royal and military Order of Saint Louis and a member of the French parliament representing the aristocracy as lord of Campugnan.), his possessions were confiscated and he was forced to emigrate. The château was purchased in 1794 by Jean Monnereau.
Château Morillon has been in the same family since the first French Empire, starting with the Roy family (descendant of jean Monnereau), who managed the estate and made it prosper for two centuries, until the arrival of the present-day successors, Chantal and Jean marie Mado, who took over in 2004.
The Mado Family renovated, or rather brought back the prestigious property in order to make it as a place to live and a place to grow grapes.
The pioneers in the Organic Agriculture
Jean Marie Mado is a committed defender of sustainable agriculture with neither pesticides nor synthetic fertilizers. He is a pioneer in the defense of certified organic agriculture. In the 1980s, he was very much involved in promoting French organic food, as the president of the emergent organic Interprofession. In the 1990s, Jean Marie was also the managing businessman of an organic brand, which he then sold to « La Vie Claire », one of the French leaders of the sale of organic products.
In 2004, Chantal & Jean Marie Mado took over Château Morillon. At that time the vineyard was composed of 14 hectares of vines, surrounding an elegant 18th century château, a cellar of traditonal concrete vats and outbuildings to restore.
They immediately decided to convert the vineyard into organic agriculture, which was then a pioneer sector in the region of Blaye.
Château Morillon, an organic vineyard in Blaye.
Château Morillon is located in the small village of Campugnan, to the north of Blaye, at 50 kilometers north of the city of Bordeaux. It is a huge vineyard with more than 35 hectares of land, at the heart of green landscapes, composed of meadows and forests.
The estate has grown 20 hectares of organically certified vines since 2007 (conversion in 2004). The cultivated wine varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and for the last few years, Malbec and Marselan have been replanted, because they like the local terroir very much.
Organic from Blayais
“Morillon is not located in the middle of the monoculture of vines”
A magnificient terroir
Unlike other winegrowing areas of the Bordeaux region, Morillon is not located right in the middle of the endless monoculture of vines. Around the estate, you can admire some plains, hillsides, forests, meadows and fields, which dominate the landscape. As for the vine, it perfectly fits in this green and welcoming land.
The vines of the estate are planted on clay-silty soils.
Thanks to the nearby Gironde Estuary, these soils are enriched by the ancestral alluvium. The vines of Château Morillon are South-East and South West facing ; thanks to the nearby Atlantic Ocean, they also benefit from oceanic climate. Thus, mild temperatures, mature springs, and late and long autumns give an optimal ripeness to the grapes.
Since his arrival at the estate, Jean Marie Mado has been assisted by Xavier Grassies, the cellarmaster of Château Morillon and a real wine lover. Moreover, for a few years, Emma Mado, Chantal & Jean Marie’s daughter, has gradually taken over the estate. She shows promise, with many ideas and projects ; Emma embodies the future of the estate.
Indeed, the three of them are fervently passionate about organic agriculture, and they really want to go forward by turning the vines into biodynamy, always by preserving the rich biodiversity of the estate.