Chateau de Fayolle

The Vineyard

A tremendous amount of effort has recently been put into Château de Fayolle. Since 1997 a very substantial investment has been made in the vineyard. Replanting and replacement of all the vinification equipment has resulted in a great improvement in the quality of the wine. We won a coveted Gold Medal at the Paris Concours and a Bronze Medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 for our 2010 White We are also proud of the Bergerac Gold Medal for our 2010 Rouge. The wine has also been well reviewed by La Revue du Vin de France and by Gilbert & Gaillard.

The wines are carefully made in our own chai at the Château by Gilles Prugne, overseen by Jean Gazaniol whose family have been responsible for making some of the best wines in the region for three generations.

M. Gazaniol studied oenology at the University of Bordeaux under the renowned Emile Peynaud who has been credited with revolutionizing wine making in the latter half of the 20th century and has been called “the forefather of modern oenology”.

Sylvie Labat handles all the sales and administration at the Château. With twenty years experience in the field of wine, she is extremely knowledgeable and is always happy to answer any queries you might have or to hold wine tastings should you wish to visit the Château (always best to call in advance). She is also a fluent English speaker.

As a small vineyard we focus on quality not quantity and concentrate our efforts on deliberately low yields. We do not use herbicides and seek at all times to protect and enrich the biodiversity of our terroir and we believe that this is reflected in the quality and purity of our wines. We combine the best modern vinification equipment with old fashioned hard work. Gilles Prugne and his sister-in-law Josiane Imbert lovingly tend the vines by hand throughout the year. Green harvesting and strict pruning result in a low output per vine, all with the aim of ensuring a controlled yield and a clarity and delicious concentration of fruit. The area under vines has been reduced from 17hectares to 11hectares to allow us to focus on producing wine from our very best ‘terroir’.

The terroir is a result of calcareous source rock from the Rupelian age which was once marine and is now brown soil with calcareous pebbles providing ideal conditions for growing vines. The vineyard stands high on a rocky spur overlooking the Dordogne River to the North and the Marmant riverbed to the South. It thus benefits from excellent drainage and a good flow of air.

The Bergerac climate is temperate oceanic. Precipitation is evenly spread throughout the period when the vines are producing new growth. April is humid, which boosts vine growth and helps to prevent disastrous spring frosts. The summers are warm and relatively dry, ideal conditions for the ripening of grape clusters. Over four consecutive months, from May to August, the area enjoys more than 200 hours of sunshine a month. It is this sunshine that supplies the necessary energy for photosynthesis. September and October are critical months in determining the production of great vintage wines. Dry weather in September concentrates the grape aromas while moderate humidity in October promotes the development of noble rot, vital for the creation of great dessert wines. The November and December rains replenish the soil's water reserves.

The winery has been renovated and dermologically painted from floor to ceiling to ensure perfect hygiene and prevent any bacterial deviation; all the vats are stainless steel with thermoregulator equipment. We use a pneumatic winepress which protects the harvest and does not crush the berries. A large airconditioned storage  building with thick stone walls can hold a whole vintage in bottles, thus enabling us to bottle the wine when it is at its best and then store it in optimum conditions.

The wine making is carefully monitored at all stages and a watchful eye is kept on the fermentation process to prevent oxidation. The wine is blended with consummate skill and bottled at the Château.  Every effort is made to maintain the richness and fruitiness of the wine from vine to bottle. It is then sold all over the world.

Each year we produce on average:

  • 30 000 bottles of red wine, Château de Fayolle AOC BERGERAC, a fruity blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc
  • 3 000 bottles of red wine Sang du Sanglier, AOC BERGERAC, Merlot and Cabernet blend matured in French oak
  • 2 000 bottles of rosé wine, AOC BERGERAC Rosé, made from Merlot and Cabernet by  the saignée method
  • 40 000 bottles of dry white wine, AOC BERGERAC SEC, a fruity and crisp wine made from Sauvignon grapes.

Some years, when the weather is perfect, we produce some SAUSSIGNAC: it is a late harvested liquoreux wine, barrel fermented from botrytised Semillon. Maturing gently in the autumn sun, the grapes are allowed to shrivel on the vines to concentrate sugars: the result is a luscious dessert wine showing intense aromas of candied fruits and orange zest with a touch of apricot and vanilla.

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