Bordeaux beyond borders
TEXT: HANNAH JANE THOMPSON | PHOTOS © VIGNOBLES AUBERT
Bordeaux has a history of quintessential, bold vintages of terroir and tradition, and the Vignobles Aubert is no exception. From Daniel, who first owned a wine château before the French Revolution, right down to current owner-managers, cousins Héloise, Vanessa and Yohann, Aubert DNA has run through this land for nine generations. Indeed, they are now the owners of seven properties across six appellations – the Lalande de Pomerol, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Montagne Saint-Emilion, Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur.
Yet, alongside such pedigree, the family is today totally committed to an outward-facing, welcoming approach. “It is vital that our doors are open,” explains Yohann. “That is an integral part of our family’s new generation; to host visitors, and to be on-site to welcome them.”
The success of the Vignobles Aubert is built on the three key pillars of family, tradition and open-mindedness.
This sense of giving and receiving is key
The main visitor hub at the Château Couspaude – just 300 metres from the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage village of Saint-Emilion – goes far beyond traditional wine tasting, and can accommodate business meetings and tasting events for up to 100 people. There are also regular artist and sculptor exhibitions. It is a majestic centre that recognises and appreciates its place in an ever-growing, global world. For example, the family’s resident Chinese intern even welcomes the ever-increasing numbers of Chinese tourists in their own language
Resting on strong foundations of family and tradition, this open-minded, international attitude extends throughout the business. In fact, Yohann previously worked on some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards: from Vancouver to Argentina, as well as in Napa Valley in the US. “It was like training,” he says. “So important for me to learn, before joining the family business.”
Today, the cousins’ open-mindedness ensures that their wine remains as relevant and high-quality as ever, with many of the vintages having recently won gold, silver and bronze medals at competitions in France and beyond. “We win because we work really hard,” says Yohann. “The quality of the fruit, the excellence of the work…we treat our vineyards like our own back gardens.” But Yohann still insists on constant improvement, and is pushing for La Couspaude Saint-Emilion to be classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé B in the next round of Bordeaux classifications. “It is about perpetual research to arrive at excellence,” he says. “We may have years of expertise behind us, but our work is never done. That is the strength of the Famille Aubert.”