An ancient Land
A map dating back to 1811 shows five châteaux, just a stone’s throw from each other, all going by the name of Corbin. As is the case for numerous Bordeaux wine estates, successive owners left their mark on the estate including a Prince of Wales (son of Edward III), a Polignac nobleman, a royal guard, a wine négociant from Libourne and a lawyer turned judge at the commercial court. Amongst all of the names however, one is of particular interest to us, that of Guillaume Ignace Bouchereau who became the Baron de Saint-Georges.
// This man, who had made his fortune in the sugar cane plantations of Santo Domingo, decided to return to the Libourne region at the age of 41. He fell in love with the Corbin land and was the first, in the late 18th century, to plant vines there. As esquire and president treasurer of France of the 'Généralité of Guyenne', he purchased Château Saint-Georges and Château Grand Corbin. The former sugar cane planter thus became an important winegrower.
He was a veritable pioneer and visionary. He took his experience from working in the sugar cane plantations and applied the island techniques to the Corbin vineyards introducing meticulous growing methods. He saw the importance of using qualified workers and he gave very precise instructions to his estate manager. He recognised the domaine’s potential and drew up a strict set of surprisingly modern specifications, which included training his employees in pruning techniques, replacing missing vine stocks, selecting the varietals best suited to the terroir and eliminating ancient growing practices to improve quality. This great visionary made his mark on the history of the Libourne wine region. During the French Revolution, the estate was seized as a national asset and broken up, leaving Guillaume Ignace Bouchereau no choice but to depart from the land of Corbin.
During the recent merger, we considered calling the new entity Château Grand Corbin Bouchereau as a homage to this innovative and ambitious man. Reconnecting to our past is also a way of continuing the work of our ancestors and guaranteeing the future of this remarkable grand cru. These two domaines, albeit separated for a period of time, have now been reconciled with their history…
Château Grand Corbin's
In 1986, the SMA Group (Mutual Insurance Company for Construction and Civil Engineering) purchased Château Haut Corbin, followed by
Grand Corbin in 2010. Two years later, on 6 September 2012, both domaines were promoted to Grand Cru Classé status and were authorised by the INAO to be united under the name, Château Grand Corbin.
This was a logical decision in light of their shared past, geographical proximity and geological similarities.
As Hubert de Boüard, consultant oenologist at the estate since 2006, reminds us: ‘It's basically a reconnection with history. We are respecting the truth.’