A pretty blond stone building nestled in the heart of the Saint-Emilion vineyard, Château Monlot has a 400-year-old history...
17 th century
6 Avril 2018
Zhao Wei is an internationally recognized personality, a complete artist (actress, singer, director) who has received many awards in her career and has become one of the most popular celebrities of her generation. Zhao Wei divides her time between her family, her professional career and her many projects. She devotes her passion into wine-making with her discretion and intensity. She spent two years looking for the ideal property, the one that would allow her to realize one of her dreams, the creation of fine wines. Seduced by its potential, she fell in love with Château Monlot. Zhao Wei then started working hard to present her wines on the international scene. In 2012, the wine world welcomed her involvement by introducing her into the Jurade de Saint-Emilion.
« After 5 years of intense work, we now wish to celebrate the rebirth of Château Monlot, which marks the beginning of a new era for our wines.»
THE ALLIANCE OF EXPERTS
Zhao Wei’s willingness and ambition to produce wines of excellence convinced three well-known personalities in the wine world. Agronomist Claude & Lydia Bourguignon and Oenologist Jean-Claude Berrouet brought their precious advice and experience to create exceptional wines.
Château Monlot symbolises the meeting of different cultures, whose destinies meet and merge into a single passion: The love of wine.
CLAUDE & LYDIA BOURGUIGNON
Agricultural engineers Consultants
Claude Bourguignon and his wife Lydia are the founders of the Laboratoire d’Analyses Microbiologiques des Sols (LAMS). LAMS is the leading research institution in soil health and protection.
Claude Bourguignon has always worked for the best vineyards in the world, using his knowledge of soil science and expertise on vineyard.
For several years till now, they have been conducting an in-depth analysis on the soil of Château Monlot in order to highlight the best benefits of its terroir on the vines.
Jean-Claude Berrouet is one of the most influential and renowned winemakers in the world and has worked on 44 vintages for one of the most famous wines in the world. His reputation is well established.
After his retirement, Zhao Wei convinced Jean-Claude Berrouet with her sincerity and passion to share his experience and to advise Château Monlot and its team.
Jean-Claude Berrouet has a deep affection for the soil also the vines and is constantly seeking the perfect harmony between nature and man. He believes in the combination of traditional and modern agricultural techniques, and believes that wines should reflect the flavors of their terroirs.
Born in a family of winegrowers in Montagne, a village near Saint-Emilion, Cécile Paillé grew up with a passion for the terroir and wine.
With a National Diploma in Oenology from Bordeaux, Cécile Paillé has built up her rich experience of wine around the world, notably in California, South Africa and Bulgaria. Finally, she returned to France where she worked for several years at a chateau classified as Grand Cru Classé in Saint-Emilion.
It is this same passion for wine that has put these two women, Zhao Wei and Cécile Paillé, on the same road to Château Monlot.
Thanks to her experience, Cécille works every day to make the wines of Château Monlot, a fruity, harmonious wine with velvety tannins.
With a total area of 8 hectares, the Château Monlot vineyard is divided into two main different parts:
- The first part is about 3 hectares of land, it is located on a hillside, with its clay-limestone soil, where our first wine, Héritage de Monlot is mainly made.
- Another 5 hectares, the soil of which is clay-loam, and it is where our second wine, Héritage de Monlot, is mainly made.
Deux cépages composent le vignoble du Château Monlot
Merlot : 75%
It is round, fleshy and can be opulent in texture. Merlot is a grape variety that produces supple and smooth wines, with aromas of red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant or red cherry.
Cabernet Franc : 25%
A grape variety which originates from the region of Gironde, it brings aromas of raspberries, violets and spices, giving structure and fine tannins to the wine.
The vines are on average thirty five to forty years old.
A YEAR AT CHATEAU MONLOT
We prune the vines in “simple Guyot”.
In early spring…
It is the hatching of the first buds, the premise of the future twigs.
Around May, the first bunches are visible. The vines are then disbudded: only the necessary buds are kept in order to produce the best possible harvest.
At the end of spring…
The vines are lifted in several stages. The young vine branches are kept between wires to direct their growth in the row.
We also practice “épamprage” to eliminate unwanted young shoots around the vine stock at the very beginning. The production of grapes is then regulated to keep only the most beautiful grapes.
During the summer…
We weed the vineyard. This meticulous work makes it possible to remove future branches that darken the cluster area.
The objective is that each grape has a sufficient quantity of sunshine to balance the sugar content inside the grape’s berry.
At the end of the summer…
At the end of September or the beginning of October, depending on the vintage, we harvest the grapes. At Château Monlot, grapes are harvested by hand to ensure the entireness of the bunch, before being placed in crates for transport.
The date of the harvest is chosen after tasting and analysing the grapes with the guidance of our oenologist Jean-Claude Berrouet.
Plot by plot, we harvest the grapes at their optimum maturity, before putting them in ten kilo crates.
We harvest early in the morning, so that the grapes remain fresh and retain their aroma.
In addition to the first sorting carried out on the plot, we carry out a second sorting when we receive the crates in the cellar. Once scissored off the stems, all the grapes pass through a machine that selects the grapes to the desired size.
Finally, a third manual sorting is carried out on a table to separate the unwanted berries from the perfect ones.
The berries are then immersed in a crusher which will allow them to be gently opened in order to release the juice without chewing them.
The sorted harvest is distributed in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
We trigger alcoholic fermentation by adding specific yeasts according to the grape varieties.
During the fermentation, manual pumping over is carried out daily in order to put the skin of the grape berries in contact with their juice. Thus, the juice begins to take on all the color contained in the skin, and the sugar is transformed into alcohol.
After being tasted, the wine is taken out of the vat and the grape marc (the skin, seeds and pulp) is pressed.
Then, malolactic fermentation starts in tanks, over which the acidity of wines can be naturally reduced.
The different batches are then tasted to create the best blend.
Once the wine has stabilized, we put each batch into barrels. Depending on the year, the use of new French oak barrels is between 30% and 40%.
The wines remain in barrels for between 12 and 18 months. Finally, the wines are bottled before being stored in our cellars with a constant temperature and humidity.