Meeting with Dominique Lauret
What makes the Château Pindefleurs’ history unique?
Without doubt, the historical figures who have succeeded each other one after the other since the former regime, those who played a role is setting the standards of today’s systems. Brilliant personalities who were proudly involved with local life, such as Antoine de Sèze, mayor of Saint-Émilion at the beginning of the 17th century: Chateaubriand describes, with strong diplomacy, how he managed to change the royal procession and invite King Louis XIII to discover the village. His descendant, the lawyer Romain de Sèze, also distinguished himself during the Revolution, by defending another sovereign, Louis XVI. Much later, it was Adolphe Charoulet, also mayor, who put his enthusiasm at the vineyard’s service: in 1907, his work was rewarded with the Château’s first gold medal. Most recently, the property belonged to the Dior family, a great name synonymous of excellence.
With these figures in keeping, how do you deal with the past to find your place?
With modesty and kindness. I ‘m a country child and, as a child, I often passed Pindefleurs: the property was already familiar to me in a sense. It was part of my landscape, part of my daily life and the poetry of its name has always challenged me. Projecting myself was not a completely foreign experience. But it was necessary to restore the castle’s charm but also its practicality at the same time: when I arrived in 2006, we undertook the renovating the Carthusian monastery, the construction of a new winery and installing new vinicultural equipment. Our desire was twofold: provide a work space favorable to produce great wine, but also make the estate a real place for us to live and settle.
Behind this adventure which has now become your adventure. There seems to be a predisposition for family spirit.
Of course, this large-scale project is a challenge. A challenge I can only be proud will of if certain conditions are met: It must be shared. My family has had wine at the heart of the project for generations. For years, I worked with my brother at Château Pipeau, a property which we shared. Naturally, I wanted to pass certain things down and the opportunity to acquire Pindefleurs was almost destined. Luckily, I didn’t have to convince my children: Audrey and Pierre held the torch with the same enthusiasm that has driven me. From now on, it’s up to them to combine our know-how with today’s challenges. The passion and energy they bring to the table promises great things for the future.