#WinegrowerPortrait : Jean-François QUENIN
On January 30th, 2023, at the end of the Coupe des Crus de Saint-Emilion, 24 wines were designated “Coups de Cœur 2023” by a jury of professionals!
What is your role on the property?
As owner-manager, in charge of the general management of the property, my missions are diverse: technical, organizational and financial management, human and commercial relationship. More precisely, as far as the technical side is concerned, in collaboration with the Technical Director, we define objectives, set up means, take decisions on cyclical adjustments and take care of the blending.
YOU ARE ONE OF THE 24 "COUPS DE CŒUR 2023" OF THE SAINT-EMILION WINES. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT?
"I am very proud that our wine is distinguished; a big thank you to all the team of the Château."
Can you tell us about your wine estate?
The Château de Pressac, in the great and small history :
It was at the Château de Pressac that the surrender of the battle of Castillon took place in July 1453, which put an end to the 100 years war.
It is also at the Château de Pressac that, from 1737 to 1747, Vassal de Montviel planted a noble grape variety in his vineyard: the “Auxerrois”, imported from Cahors. Around him, people did the same; the grape variety developed in the region, and took the name of “Noir de Pressac“. Later, the “Malbeck” man developed it in the Bordeaux region, and the grape variety took the name of “Malbec“.
Located on an exceptional and breathtaking site, on a rocky spur overlooking the Dordogne valley, the property was entirely renovated around 1880; the current neo-gothic castle was rebuilt on the ruins of the old medieval castle. The wines of Château de Pressac were, at that time, very famous.
We bought the property in 1997 with my wife, Dominique Quenin. She was a legal advisor and I was a former executive of Darty. For the second time, the property underwent major renovation work, both in the vineyard, which was completely restructured, and in the cellars, which were entirely redesigned using the latest technology. All these efforts have been rewarded by the promotion of the property to the rank of “Grand Cru Classé” in 2012 and 2022.
The “parcel management” of the estate, from the vine to the blend, has been established as a major principle at Château de Pressac (choice of grape varieties and rootstocks, cultivation methods, date of harvest, vinification…) and tries to express the variety and complementarity of the terroirs of Saint-Emilion (40 ha on the limestone plateau and the clay-limestone slopes), the exposures and the grape varieties (5 grape varieties).
The property is proud to carry our family values of authenticity, simplicity, refinement and welcome (9000 people welcomed annually), while respecting the environment (High Environmental Value certification, level 3).
Fun fact : Did you know …?
This historical property was the site of the surrender of the battle of Castillon that ended the Hundred Years’ War. The property also gave its name to a grape variety, the Noir de Pressac, better known today as Malbec.
The Château, rebuilt in the 19th century (Neo-Gothic, known as “troubadour”) benefits from an exceptional site. Finally, its terraced vineyard is spectacular.
Can you tell us about the awarded vintage?
Made from three main types of soil (limestone plateau, clay-limestone slopes, and clay-limestone hillside), benefiting from all types of sun exposure, and resulting from the blending of five different grape varieties, the wine of Château de Pressac is a singular wine, the expression of a unique site.
Can you suggest a food and wine pairing with this vintage?
Château de Pressac 2019 will be excellent with red and white meats, poultry and hard cheeses.