Château des Antonins | Bordeaux
Château des Antonins has belonged to the De Roquefeuil family since the 1850s. Located in the southern part of Graves, 13 kilometres from Langon, the estate includes a toll bridge, a chapel, a monastery and five windmills. The château takes its name from the Antonins, a monastic order who set up the monastery in the 13th century as a centre to cure ergotism.The Antonins monastic order is founded to heal patients suffering from St Antoine’s fire, later called ergotic poisoning. The monks treated this illness thanks to healthier food (the famous St Antoine’s pig) but more importantly thanks to the concoction of a secret drink with extraordinary therapeutic properties. The Saint Vinage is a wine base and herbs.
After phylloxera devastated the vines in the late 19th century, much of the vineyard was dug up and planted with other crops, so today only a small part of the estate remains dedicated to vines.
Owner and winemaker Geoffroy de Roquefeuil employs a long maceration to make a powerful red Bordeaux Supérieur which requires time before drinking. His approach goes against the trend within the appellation of Bordeaux Superieur, where the tendency is to make wines for more immediate consumption. The proportion of Cabernet to Merlot in the wine varies from year to year, and the average yield of 45 hl/ha is well below the maximum of 62 hl/ha permitted for the appellation. Geoffroy has been experimenting with micro-oxygenation since the 2001 vintage. Micro-oxygenation (also called microbullage) is a method of adding tiny oxygen bubbles to wine to soften the tannins, hence making the wine easier to drink.