Château Micalet is located in the small village of Cussac-Fort-Médoc, right next to Saint Julien. The first vintage of Chateau Micalet has been done in 1893 by Jean Péraud, who was the owner back then. He was a baker (artisan boulanger in French), which allows the domain to now benefit of the title "Cru Artisan". He produced only 10 barrels the 1st year, but it was so well received by his customers and friends that he started to produce wine every year.
The estate represents 10 hectares, spread around the commune of Cussac in the AOC "Haut-Médoc". The plots are rather large (3-4 hectares) which allows the estate to avoid the impact of the chemical treatments from the neighboring crops. The estate passed the organic certification in 2004 with 3 hectares, and in 2007 the whole estate was certified organic. The soil is essentially gravel, which is uncommon for the Haut Médoc appellation. The reason is that the village benefits from the same type of soil as Saint Julien. When the AOCs borders were decided, the village of Saint Julien did not want Cussac to join the appellation, being a much less rich village.
Families of crus were recognized in the 19th century to establish a classification of Bordeaux properties. The brokers who tasted the wines at the properties to propose them to the merchants, choosed to distinguish the wines according to the social status of the wine makers. Thus, the peasants produced a cru paysan, the craftsmen, a cru artisan, the bourgeois, a cru bourgeois and finally the aristocracy and the great families produced the crus classés. The social hierarchy and the price were then confused.
Today, these classifications do not establish a qualitative scale, but are more a reflection of the origin of the property. Blind tastings are enough to convince oneself of this. In economy, we tend to say that what is rare is expensive. However, when it comes to wine making, the crus artisans are rare wines, as they represent only 3% of the Medoc wine production and yet they are accessible to a great number of gourmets.
Denis Fédieu respects his lands by refusing to use weed killer and by plowing with horses like he has done when he was younger. His love for the land drove him to choose an organic farming method towards the end of his career, which was then supported by Damien. The issues raised by the impact of pesticides, as a result of synthetic chemistry, and its effect on human health reinforced his choice of organic farming in 2004. It was a natural evolution for Château Micalet and the Fédieu family, whose inspiration had always been rooted in the rural tradition.
The lunar calendar is used to set the date of sulfur or Bordeaux mixture treatments (to fight mildew), to let the land rest 7 days after the pulling out of a vineyard plot (to naturally destroy harmful fungi), and to carry out the alcoholic fermentation with natural yeasts; ancient techniques that have shown their efficiency and respect of the land.