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Interview of Mr.Benjamin Gayraud – Estate Director – Château Lamartine for AsiaImportNews – Exclusive
Could you please tell us the story of your winery, when it was created and how it developed decades after decades?
The winery was created in 1883. After the phyloxerra, my great grandfather Edouard Serougne replanted the vineyard on the 1920’s. From 1956, he developed the bottle sales and didn’t sale in bulk anymore. He was a pioneer to produce bottles in Cahors and was part of the 15 who defend and created Cahors Appellation in 1971. He worked all his life long and died in 1975. When he died the vineyard size was 12 ha. My grandfather Adrien Gayraud was much better to manage the vines than to make wines. In consequence, my dad Alain Gayraud did his first vinification for the 1976 vintage. 40 years later the vineyard doesn’t look the same: we have now 37 hectares of vines in production, the cellar is modern and very functional, and the wines are known in all over the world. Our dad did a lot for Lamartine, now it’s our turn! I am install on the winery from 2016 and my sister arrived in July of the same year.
We are the 4th generation of winemakers at Lamartine, that’s the story of many lifes and we are the happiest to continue to write it.
What sort of wines are you producing ?
We are producing only red wines. All of them are produced on based of 90% Malbec minimum. We are working on the finesse, on the elegance, the drinkability. For us, a good bottle is an empty one!
How important are your export distribution compared to national distribution ?
We are now exporting more than 50% of our production. It’s representing approximatively 100 000 bottles a year.
What sort of distributors are your customers ?
We are managing in direct all of our distribution because we want to keep a kind of direct contact with the final consumer. We are working with all kind of distributors. In France, we are present in the wine shop, restaurants, and supermarkets. On the export market, we are working directly with the importers and they are selling the wines in their country on the different ways.
Why your wines are different from other wineries in your area ?
As you know, to make wines you need good grapes. The grapes are coming from the vines planted on specific terroirs. More your terroirs are good, more your wine is good.
Lamartine is located on the terraces of the Lot river. We have 3 different kind of soils (60% of clay-limestone, 20% of clay siliceous and 20% of limestone). The limestone gives the volume, the siliceous gives the minerality and the limestone gives finesse and tension. More than the soils, all the vines are exposed in the front of the south and we have a large influence of the Oceanic weather. They are essential to obtain a good maturity and freshness. That’s why our wines are singular. In Cahors there is a beautiful diversity of terroirs, there is a big diversity of winemakers and winemaking, that’s why all the wines are different.
Do you produce grapes in a organic or environmental friendly method, or with general methods ?
We are producing our wine on environmental friendly method. We obtained 2 years ago the HVE certificate which is from the agricultural minister.
We are not using any product for fertilization from the 1990’s. As defender of the agri-environmental ethic respect, we give an high importance to the regularity of the soil work. The result is a lively balance from the one stocks can draw vital minerals for the concentration and the complexity of great wines. We are spending more than 2500 hours each year for hand work:: taking off the leaves and green harvest allow the regularity of moderate yield.
Are your wines already distributed in Asia, and if not what are the countries you are looking for new distributors ?
We are distributing in Japan, in Taiwan, in Philippines, in South Korea, a bit in China … We get some exclusivities, but some of our wines are still not importing in Asia. We are not specially looking after a country in Asia, but we are open to demands.
Is there anything who want to add about your wines, story or any news ?
Every year we are named in the most famous intentional reviews as the wine spectator, wine enthusiast, Decanter… All the vintage are singular, we are working to give the best from each of them. Our passion gives our wines!
You can join us and see our actuality on Facebook: Château Lamartine – Cahors
Thank you Mr.Benjamin Gayraud – Estate Director – Château Lamartine for your time and answers!
Château Lamartine: www.cahorslamartine.com
Fascinating taste of France in one bottle!