History of Chateau Estanilles
The vineyard has been cultivated for several millennia on the Lenthéric locality and for several decades, vintage after vintage, the Château Estanilthe produce wines of remarkable quality, among the most acclaimed in Languedoc and the Faugères appellation, whose domain is one of the mythical and pioneer leading light of the appellation.
The millennial origins:
The history of the Languedoc vineyard begins with the Greeks several eras before our era, when they introduced the vineyard in the fifth century BC. And it is like many other French vineyards that it really takes off under the impetus of the Romans, who took up the torch, experts in the cultivation of the vines of their condition. Since then, viticulture has played a vital role in the regional economy.
It is in 1945, after the creation of the INAO (National Institute of the Appellations of Origin) in 1936, that the vineyard and its extraordinary terroirs begin to be recognized at the national level. The first appellations in VDQS (Superior Quality Wine) appear on all the names of terroirs, appellations that will later be transformed into AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée).
Beginning of the Languedoc recognition
Since the early 1980s, the Languedoc vineyard has undergone a major change in both quantity and quality. Hitherto too confined to its bad reputation, the Languedoc takes back its soil and undertakes a general restructuring of its vineyard. Alongside a massive grubbing-up of the vines, the typical Mediterranean grape varieties are developed in parallel with a rehabilitation of the traditional varieties and an optimization of their cultivation. From 1975, the selection and research on the characterization of the soils were undertaken in Languedoc, accompanied by research on the modes of management of the vines, the control of the yields and the vinification.
This qualitative strategy of restructuring of the Languedoc vineyard leads to the progressive classification of its soil in various Appellations of Controlled Origin, guarantors of the quality and authenticity of the wines now offered to national and global consumers increasingly demanding and eager for quality and originality.
The entry of the vineyard in around 1910
1860 - The history of the estate begins
Louis de Vigne Lavit, the first owner of the estate and of the Chateau Autignac, was an eminent visionary winemaker of the commune. He chose to plant vines on the strong foothills of the mountain for its singular organoleptic qualities of the soil of Lenthéric. The successive generations of this family will hold their place in the local viticulture.
1976 - Passing of the torch and notoriety
In 1976, Michel Louison, self-taught, took up the torch and was one of the pioneers of the appellation by introducing Syrah, a variety that gave the reputation of the Château Estanilles in the early 1980s. He also introduced the methods and rigour of the great Bordeaux castles. It was also one of the first to bottle its production in Languedoc.
Since then, the Château Estanilles has been one of the flagships of the appellation as well as one of the most famous estates in Languedoc.
1982 – AOP FAUGERES
Thanks to its unique terroir and its unique characteristics, which are conducive to the production of great wines, L'AOP Faugères becomes the first appellation with the name CRU
2009 - Chateau Estanilles - New torch passing
Trained very early in the tasting of great wines, thanks to her family (and the vines she owns in Costières de Nîmes) who transmitted the desire and the passion, at 25 years, Julien Seydoux, self-taught and intuitive already thinks of becoming a winemaker.
Julien learns in the field and in books, in particular to find the most qualitative method of conduct. Helped by Arnaud Barthe in the vineyard and in the cellars, with which he forms a perfect tandem, he draws the profile of each cuvée, instinctively. If, at the tasting, the wines always let out the expression of the terroir, they express themselves in a delicate way and with finesse, the main traits of character of the winemaker Julien Seydoux.
“It takes constant attention to detail to find out what can be improved”
It keeps the basics, not seeking to erase history, but it transforms the methods of work.
Respect of the raw material.
It is absolutely essential to respect nature, to touch the grapes as little as possible, to give the wines sulphites and inputs necessary to allow them to stabilize and to face the time, but in small quantities so as not to change the taste of the fruit».
«The real difference is the respect of the raw material, the vinification and the breeding»
Breeding is the part that interests me the most because it is the final touch. How to sublimate a beautiful vintage? It goes through the breeding box, and it’s not in the books. It’s created. Instinctively. Nobody has a recipe. For me, that’s what makes the real difference. We spend a lot of time, every month, tasting each barrel to see how it evolves. We only work with French coopers and with different heaters.”
His obsession with precision pushes him to seek the devil in every detail to raise the field ever higher. The wines gain in finesse and elegance and are recognized by the French and foreign press.