Lamothe-Bergeron is one of the historic Médoc wine estates and was already considered a leading Cru Bourgeois Supérieur back in the 19th century, a status that was confirmed once again in 2020.
What did the estate look like back in the Middle Ages? It is difficult to imagine as nothing remains of the original fortress, apart from a plan drawn by Léo Drouyn in a book published in 1865.
In its 1898 edition, the Féret guide to “Bordeaux and its Wines” took the reader back to the 14th century when the estate belonged to the Captal de Buch. “It is said that, having become prisoner of Duguesclin, the Captal sold 10 vintages of his wine in advance, in order to pay the heavy ransom exacted. The English at that time occupied Bordeaux and appear to have held this particular wine in high estimation.”
The Mark of the Bergerons
We are familiar with the history of the house from the end of the 15th century onwards. It belonged to the Lauste and Martel families and was passed down from one generation to the next until François Jacques Marie de Bergeron (1760-1810), to whom we refer more conveniently as Jacques de Bergeron.
He was very much a man of the Enlightenment, a counsellor of the Bordeaux parliament and had an interest in all things relating to nature and agricultural science. He travelled, published papers in scientific journals, had a passion for insects and exotic trees, and demonstrated the interest of acacia wood for making vine stakes.
At Lamothe, of course, where we know that vines have been grown since at least the 17th century, he found the ideal place for his experiments. Jacques de Bergeron died in 1810 at the age of 50, leaving behind him an estate full of promise. In 1845, it was mentioned as being the finest among the wines of Cussac in the Traité des Vins du Médoc.
A New Château
In 1868, a new château rose up from the ground – a veritable jewel embodying the architectural dreams of the Second Empire. It was built during the time of Abdon d’Armana (1824-1906), husband of Caroline Le Quien de La Neufville, the niece by marriage of the last of the Bergerons. In that same year, the wine was mentioned in the second edition of the Féret guide as ranking first among the wines in the village. In order to capitalise on the prestige of a historic name, Lamothe became “Lamothe de Bergeron” at the beginning of the 20th century.
Over the decades from 1970 to 2010, Lamothe-Bergeron changed hands three times. The vineyard was restructured, the mix of grape varieties adjusted and the winery facilities renovated.
In 2015, after 18 months of works, the fully-restored château opened its doors to wine tourism, with the creation of a shop and reception areas. The visitor circuit is the only one of its kind and attracts no fewer than 8,000 visitors each year. In 2019, the CAPSSA bought the estate with great ambitions: to enhance the wine even further, to be even more demanding in environmental matters and to make the wine tourism visitor experience an even richer one.