Emmanuelle and Bertrand decide to settle in the Graves appellation, which is Bordeaux wine’s cradle. An exceptional soil, famous wines known through the whole world and the lands are affordable. First they buy 4 hectares of young vines in full production of Illats, in the heart of the Graves Appellation. They rent a small house with an old cellar 12 kilometers from the vineyard. And they set up tanks and few barrels.
The 9 hectares of vines are close by each other and are mostly planted with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in smaller proportion. These are the two grape-varieties mainly used for the production of the red wines in the region. For white wine several rows of Sauvignon and Semillon are planted.
The name of Château Vénus : Venus is the goddess of beauty, fineness and elegance, those concepts lead Emmanuelle and Bertrand every day for the conception of their wines. Venus is also an international name, easy to remember and to pronounce.
Winemaking process at Château Vénus
"The cellar is equiped with stainless steel tanks which have a system of temperature control. When the grapes arrive during the harvest, we proceed to a cold maceration of about 7 days at a temperature of less than 10°c to allow a better conservation of the aromas and the fixation of the color (tannins and antocyanins). We make pump overs every day until the end of the fermentation in order to extract the most of color and fruit. At the end of the fermentations, we transfer the wines into barrels."
"The cellar is composed of 64 barrels : 90% of French oak and 10% of American oak. The wines are racked every 3 months depending on their evolution and are aged during 12 months. The final touch consists of blending the different lots in order they express the best of their quality in bottle."
Graves is an important subregions of the Bordeaux wine region. Graves is located on the left bank of the Garonne river, in the upstream part of the region, southeast of the city of Bordeaux and stretches over 50 kilometers (31 miles). Graves is the only Bordeaux subregion which is famed for Bordeaux's three main wine wine types : reds, dry whites and sweets wines - although red wines dominate the total production. Graves AOC is also the name of one Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) which covers most, but not all of the Graves subregion. The name Graves derives from its intensely gravelly soil. The soil is the result of glaciers from the Ice Age, which also left white quartz deposits that can still be found in the soil of some of the top winemaking estates.
Credit map : www.vinsdegraves.com
As always this is a question of who you meet and when. Bertrand and Emanuelle are friends with Vincent Lacoste from Château de Cranne. When I started with Château de Cranne, Vincent offered me to taste Château Vénus Graves. I liked the wines but the timing was not good.
Two years later timing was much better and we start working together.
I like Emmanuelle and Bertrand's philosophy. Maximum work in the vineyard, minimum intervention in the cellar.