In 2017, Dominique, owner of the Châteaudes Annereaux, hands over to his son Benjamin. That same year, the family estate celebrated its 10th anniversary in Organic Agriculture, an opportunity for Dominique and Benjamin Hessel to open the doors of the castle on March 30, 2017. Guests had the chance to discover a renovated and modern winery, to taste organic wines from 10 vintages and to discover a preview of the primeurs week, the 2016 vintage.
On Thursday 30th March 2017, Château de Annereaux in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellationin Bordeaux opened its doors to wine professionals. 2017 is a special year for Dominique and Benjamin Hessel who wanted to mark the occasion:
It's a beautiful family story that began in the 14th century. For 600 years, theChâteau des Annereaux has been handed down from generation to generation. This year, after 40 years of passionate work and faithful to the family tradition, Dominique entrusts the land to Benjamin: experience gives way to youth: "I'm 35 this year.I always had in mind to work on the property but I wanted to see something else. So I went to Paris for a while to work and I decided to come back to the estate 4 years ago", Benjamin tellsus. "When Icame back, I trained for 2 years in parallel with the work on the Château, and it was mainly my father, an agricultural engineer and oenologist, who taught me this job," hesays.
Château des Annereaux is a historic family property: Benjamin's grandmother (the little girl next to the car) and great-great-grandfather (the man next to him).
2017 marks a new beginning for Château des Annereaux. A departure full of ambition: "My ultimate goal is tobe the jewel of the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation" confides Benjamin.
Dominique and Benjamin have given themselves the means to achieve this goal. Starting with the very courageous decision 10 years ago to go into Organic Farming.
Our "coup de cœur" vintages from the estate:
In 2007, Dominique began the conversion of the Château to Organic Agriculture. For 10 years now, the estate's wines have been produced using clean and responsible viticulture. Benjamin is very proud of this choice: "I wouldreally like topay tribute to my father. It was a courageous decision and a very important turning point for the estate. He followed through on his convictions despite the risks, and I am proud to be able to continue his work.»
At Domaine des Annereaux, the work on the vines is well thought out. For 10 years now, the vineyard has been under Organic Agriculture.
"Wedo it first andforemost for those who work in the vineyard. They are in the front line and it takes everything in their head. For them, and of course for the soil.»
Organic farming also allows them to work the wines on a more fruity profile, as Benjamin explains: "With the switch to organic farming, wehave recovered acidity in the wines. When tasting, we are much more focused on the fruit and the wines are clearer.»
There is nothing but good in this conversion to organic and it is therefore logical that Dominique and Benjamin want to celebrate the last 10 years with a great vertical tasting (the same cuvée in several vintages) of the last 10 years.
Château des Annereaux vinifies 3 cuvées: Château des Annereaux in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation, Château des Biscarrats in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation and Bordeaux in the Bordeaux appellation. Benjamin explains: "We don't wantwines that are too woody. We want to be on the fruit. The wines in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation are 80% Merlot. They are elegant, silky and very fine wines. We try not to rush our wines to make something that represents the grape varieties.»
The new cellar at Chateau des Annereaux will allow them to improve the quality of the wines.
The new winery has been thought out with the idea of improving the quality of the production. The work lasted 2 years: "we renovatedthe vat room and added packaging, we invested in a new sorting machine, a vibrating skip and in the buildings to ensure that the wine is stored in an optimal way. »
These investments will allow the winemakers to work the wines on a smaller scale and improve the selection work. "We haveadded small containers to enable us to vinify by plot. The sorting machine will allow us to select the grapes much better, so that we can only keep those of high quality. We are going to refine the selection," says the young winemaker.
Everything is being done to achieve the objective of becoming the reference in the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation. Icing on the cake with the arrival on the estate of a very promising young oenologist: Axel Marchal. For Benjamin, this choice is very important: "I did my training with Denis Dubourdieu. It wastherefore quite natural for us to decide to work with Axel Marchal since 2016, a young oenologist who will contribute enormously to the quality of our wines".
Without a doubt, with such a cocktail and such a great will, Benjamin Hessel is heading towards a great success.
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