In 2017, Dominique, owner of the Château des Annereaux, hands over to his son Benjamin. That same year, the family property celebrates its 10 years in Organic Agriculture, the occasion 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 appellation in 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, the Château 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 decided to come back to the estate 4 years ago", Benjamin tells us. "When I came 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 profession", he underlines.
Château des Annereaux is a historic family property: Benjamin's grandmother (the little girl next to the car) and great-grandfather (the gentleman next to him).
2017 marks a new beginning for Château des Annereaux. A start full of ambition: "My ultimate goal is to be the flagship 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 Agriculture.
Our "coup de coeur" vintages of 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 would really like to pay tribute to my father. It was a brave decision and a very important turning point for the property. He followed through on his convictions despite the risks, and I am proud to be able to continue his work. »
At the Domaine des Annereaux, the work in the vines is well thought out. For 10 years now, the vineyard has been in Organic Agriculture.
"We do it first of all for those who work in the vineyard. They are in the front line and it takes everything in the head. For them, and of course for the soil. »
Organic farming also allows them to work the wines on a fruitier profile, as Benjamin explains: "With the switch to organic farming, we have recovered acidity in the wines. At the tasting, we are much more on the fruit and the wines are clearer. »
What a good thing in this conversion to organic and it is therefore logical that Dominique and Benjamin want to celebrate 10 years with a great vertical tasting (the same vintage over several vintages) of the last 10 years.
Château des Annereaux vinifies 3 vintages: 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 want wines 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 wine storehouse at Château des Annereaux will enable them to improve the quality of their wines.
The new winery has been thought out with the idea of improving the quality of the production. The works lasted 2 years: "we renovated the 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 enable the winemakers to work the wines on a smaller scale and improve the selection work. "We have added small containers to be able to vinify by plot. The sorting machine will allow us to select the grapes much better so that we only keep those of high quality. We will refine the selection," says the young winemaker.
Everything is being done to achieve the goal 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 is therefore quite naturally that we decided to work since 2016 with Axel Marchal, 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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