Grower: Chateau Lestignac
Region: Southwest, France
Grape Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle
Viticulture: Biodynamic, Organic
Category: White, Skin-Contact
Château Lestignac is managed by Camille & Mathias Marquet, a young couple who inherited the family farm in 2008. The farm originally included 17 hectares of vinifera vines, but the Marquets pared the vineyard down to the best sites and introduced a diverse garden and livestock into the mix to develop a true polyculture to complement their conscientious, organic farming style. 2009 was their first vintage under the banner of Lestignac and the couple began to introduce biodynamic farming in 2011. In addition to the vineyard, the farm is home to over 200 fruit trees, 80 chickens, and 20 sheep.
Half of the vineyards are on a gentle north-facing slope of limestone with the other half on a plateau of blue clay. The Marquets rely on horses to work all parcels instead of tractors or other machines and increasingly use biodynamic preparations—including nettle, comfrey, yarrow and wicker—to eliminate the use of sulfur and copper treatments over time. The majority of the vines are 40- to 60-years old, with selective replanting. The new vines are goblet pruned, which is unique in Bergerac, to provide more protection from the sun and foster a higher, natural acidity to ensure a fresher style of wine. Fermentation is always spontaneous with indigenous yeasts and nothing else is added with the exception of a touch of sulfites at bottling. In 2017 the Marquets started a negoce brand, “Hors Les Murs,” and a project is in the works to start making ciders from the apples and pears grown on the property.