Drinking with desire
TEXT: HANNAH JANE THOMPSON | PHOTOS: VIGNOBLES INVINDIA
How a collection of boutique Bordeaux vineyards mixes work with pleasure to create an award-winning variety of wine
‘A human story of grapes, earth and desire’ is how the Vignobles Invindia group describes itself, with its very title an evocative play on the Latin word ‘invidia’ – meaning envy or desire – and the French word for wine – ‘vin’.
This focus on desire is key: despite being spread across seven different châteaux within 45 minutes’ drive of Bordeaux, the company has one main goal – to make high-quality wine that is a pleasure to taste.
Seven properties mean seven distinct ‘terroirs’ – the non-translatable French word that denotes geography, climate, ground, age of the vines, and more – and varieties produced across three key appellations: Saint-Emilion Grand Cru; Fronsac; and Entre-Deux-Mers.
Yet, throughout the business, quality takes precedence over quantity, meaning that even in a region as over-saturated and well-known as Bordeaux, these vintages still stand out.
Recent examples include wines from Château Aurore and Château Haut-Meyrau, both of which picked up gold medals in recent national competitions.
Hugues Laborde, technical director at Invindia, describes this attention to detail as the common thread running through the fabric of all seven sites.
“We prefer to pick fewer grapes, but have the best quality possible,” he explains. “We produce less than the vines could give us, which allows us to have very concentrated, sweet and aromatic grapes, so the wine is tasty and rich.”
Vintages from the 11 acre Château Aurore estate, he explains, have attracted well-deserved praise due to the site’s distinctive terroir: an exposed landscape between the Dordogne and Garonne, with historic deep-root vines more than 60 years old.
But the group’s two Saint-Emilion properties are also ready to shine, as the company is launching a new tourist offer in time for summer at both Château Le Conte and Château Touzinat.
Spread across seven distinct châteaux near Bordeaux, the Vignobles Invindia group describes its common goal as quality, pleasure and respect for its different grapes.
Brand new ensuite guest bedrooms will accommodate visits for up to 12 to 15 people, including an in-depth tour of the site and winemaking process, followed by guided tastings.
Each of the châteaux already offers group visits, including half-day and full-day tours, presenting an honest account of the hard work that goes into producing such quality bottles.
“Today, people want to know where their food and drink comes from,” explains Laborde. “We have nothing to hide, and are proud of what we do. It is about respect: of the terroir, and each grape.”
“We do not print labels for the sake of it,” he says. “We are winemakers above all.”