History

An ancient Land
named Corbin

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…

L’homme, ayant fait fortune dans les plantations de cannes à sucre à Saint Domingue, choisi de rentrer dans le Libournais à 41 ans. Tombé sous le charme du lieu, il est le premier, à la fin du 18ème siècle, à imaginer la plantation d’un grand vignoble sur le périmètre de Corbin. Ecuyer et président trésorier de France de la généralité de Guyenne, il fait alors l’acquisition des Châteaux Saint-Georges et Grand Corbin. L’ancien planteur devient un grand vigneron.
Par sa juste évaluation du potentiel du domaine, il élabore un cahier des charges drastique, digne des plus modernes : former les vignerons à la taille des vignes, remplacer les pieds manquants, choisir les cépages les mieux adaptés aux terroirs, éliminer les jouales, méthode culturale responsable de vins de médiocre qualité.

Cet homme visionnaire a marqué incontestablement l’histoire du vignoble libournais. A la Révolution française, la seigneurie sera saisie comme bien national et démembrée, et Guillaume Ignace Bouchereau sera contraint de quitter les terres de Corbin.
Lors de la récente fusion, il fut un temps question d’appeler la nouvelle entité château Grand Corbin Bouchereau pour rendre hommage à ce novateur ambitieux. Renouer avec le passé, c’est aussi poursuivre le travail des aïeux et mesurer la pérennité d’un grand cru.
Ces deux propriétés, un temps séparées, se sont ainsi joliment réconciliées avec leur histoire…

Château Grand Corbin's
new destiny

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.’



Returning to a prestigious past is another way of ensuring the future of an outstanding terroir.