Tradition and passion have played an essential part in the Boulin's family history for over 100 years. Since 1880, the estate at Saint-André-du-Bois, formely part of the Château Malromé, home of Toulouse Lautrec, has been in the hands of five successive generations.
The Propery is situated on the right bank of the Garonne, at about 50 kilometres south east of Bordeaux and 10 kilometres from Langon, close to the medieval village of Saint-Macaire, in the area of the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée : Côtes-de-Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire.
The first two generations to cultivate wines on this estate also combined mixed farming with the rearing of cattle and poultry farming. Yves and Marie-Jeanne BOULIN later devoted themselves exclusively to wine making. In 1983 Patrick BOULIN took over, soon to be joined by his sister Nicole. On May 2nd 1989 the name Château de Cappes was registred by the family.
Cédric, after a BEPA and BAC PRO vine and wine at the scholl of wine making and oenology 'La Tour Blanche' in the Sauternais, a technical/commercial BTS in wine and spirits at the school of Libourne-Montagne and a wine making course in the King Valley in Australia was the next menber of the family to join the business.
Patrick, Nicole and Cédric will be delighted to welcome you to their estate and share their passion with you.
Today the vineyard spreads over 33 hectares : 30 hectares of vines for the red wines (merlot,cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc) and 3 for the whites (sauvignon blanc and sémillon).
The soil is mostly limestone and clay, occasionally mixed with gravel. The steep hillsides facing south/south west favour the ripening of the grapes. There are between 4,000 and 5,000 vines per hectares, some of them sixty years old.
The Boulin family works hard to maintain the quality of its wines. After meticulous pruning in order to stagger the harvest and regulate the yield, manual thinning is carried out in to improve the quality of the grapes. This operation is performed on the totality of the merlot vines, thus optimising the potential of the fruit and maximizing the quantity of sugars, aromas, tannins and colour of the grapes. Depending on the year, between 30 and 50 % of the bunches are removed.
Concerning the soil, one row out of two is left to grass and the others are cultivated
The red grapes are harvested mechanically, thus enabling them to be picked when fully ripe, and the whites by and, with three successive passages during picking. The yield is around 50 hl per hectare for the red grapes and not more than 18 for the sweet whites.
The Château de Cappes produces its wines in thermo-regulared stainless steel vats. Only the Cuvée Mordorée is made in new French oak barrels. The wine making process lasts about two and a half months, from the first pressings of the dry white wines to the end of the malolactic fermentation of the reds.
Our dry white wines undergo a cold maceration on the skins for 6 hours in order to amplify the aromatic extraction, the tannins and the colour. They are pressed in a horizontal wine press and fermented quickly so as to limit oxidization.
The grapes for our red wines our placed directly into the vats. The wine is pumped over daily in order to extract the aromas, tanins and colour. This operation consists of racking the must at the bottom of the vat onto the marc at the top with the help of a pump. The fermentation is followed by a 3 to 4 week vatting period after which the free run juice is removed from the vat and the marc extracted and pressed in order to obtain the press wine.
To make our rosé wines, either the red grapes are pressed immediately. The obtained juices (50% merlot and 50% cabernet sauvignon) are blended and fermented before being rapidly bottled.
The botrytised grapes for the sweet whites, after being hand picked, are quickly pressed in a pneumatic press and the juice goes to fermentation.
After fermentation, the dry white wine undergoes 3 weeks of maturation on the lees. This method results in a rounder, heavier wine with an aromatic complexity. The filtered wine is quickly bottled to retain a maximum of its aromas.
The red wines spend between 14 and 18 months in stainless steel vats before being bottled.