Our history begins when Jean VILLARS bought the vines and mix crops lands in 1833, then he acquired the house the 20th August in 1839.
He had two daughters: Villardine and Marguerite Elise.
FIRST GENERATION: Villardine VILLARS and Eugene PATACHON: The first winegrowers.
They married at the beginning of 1870. Jean VILLARS installed his daughter, Villardine, and her generation in the property. The terroir of the banks near the Garonne River were beginning to be recognized for the quality of its liquorish white wines and for the structure and personality of their red wines.
The phylloxera, a vine parasite insect had ravaged vineyards worldwide, damaging as well the vines in Bordeaux. During this period, necessary steps were taken to restructure the vineyards with more resistant plants in order to resist this pest. The priority of this first generation was to take care of the vines rather than expanding them.
They have built two houses in Bordeaux. Their son Camille was born.
Second generation: Camille PATACHON and Marie CRACHEREAU: Modernizing and restructuring the vineyard.
Camille and Marie were married the 1st of February in 1900. Camille suffered a serious accident that has left him disabled (no use of his leg) in 1914. This accident unable him to take part of the First World War, meanwhile he found the way to adapt the vineyard operation to his disability.
Camille was very ingenuous and practical; he modernized and mechanized the winery, which was easy for him to perform the different stages of the winemaking. In those times, rails, pulleys and presses were installed and the majority of them can still be seen currently
Camille worked as an insurance agent too; this has permitted him to find the necessary money to invest in the vineyards in order to overcome the crisis of the post-war. Camille and Marie have two children: Pierre and Camille.
In those years Camille (father) acquired the property of Filh and the neighbour property of Donzac.
Third GENERATION: Camille PATACHON and Andre BERTIN: A divorce that has changed the history.
Camille will marry André BERTIN in 1925. Andre was working in a bank and the couple was living in Bordeaux.
Pierre PATACHON managed the two properties left by his father, Chateau de Cranne and Filh. The harvests of the two properties were processed in the property of the Chateau de Cranne.
Camille and Andre had two daughters: Claude and Suzanne. Unfortunately they divorced in 1937. In those times a divorce was not seen with good eyes in the society. So that is why Camille was forced to return to her parents’ house with her two daughters.
Camille return to the vineyard became unexpected and difficult. Family tensions began to grow until they decided to divide the farm in two. Pierre managed the Filh vineyards and Camille the Chateau de Cranne, converting these properties in two independent entities. During that time, Second World War was taking place and Donzac was an occupied territory.
After Second World War, the era of mechanization was beginning and it began to spread in different agricultural activities. The first tractors, the pick tools and plowing systems were seen in the field. Mixed cultures were a strong culture during war times, but gradually this began to decrease allowing vineyards to expand and specialize.
Fourth Generation: Claude BERTIN and André LACOSTE: SOIL & MECHANIZATION.
André was away from the vineyards for almost 7 years because of Second World War. He came from “La Sauve Majeure”, his parents were winemakers as well in the property of “l’Entre-deux-mers”. After liberation, the construction of France begins. At that time due to the events the vineyards suffered from a lack of resources and labor force.
André and Claude get married in 1950 and settled in Donzac in the domain of “Château de Cranne”. The vine exploitation experiences the beginning of the mechanization era and facilitates the labor of many winegrowers.
Andre and Claude will have two children: Jacques and Michel.
André invested in the mechanization of the vineyards and the cellars, and he improved and facilitated the daily work in the vineyard. By that time, enology knowledge became popular in the Bordeaux vineyards. This will provide the first steps to explain and understand the “diseases of wine” (oxidation, reduction, etc), and preventive measures were beginning to take place.
André was marked by the war, and as mayor elected of the community and an active member of many organizations has dedicated a great part of his time helping others. The growth and expansion of the vineyard is under his direction. In those times, red wines begin to grow in Bordeaux. Donzac was very well known of their white wines, however the soils were beginning to be restructured with red varieties like: Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
FIFTH GENERATION – Michel LACOSTE and Annie DARRAS: THE GOLDEN AGE OF TRADING & COMMERCE.
Jacques was not really interested in the wine culture and production, so that is why he decided to work in the wine sector bust as a supplier. Michel will take the management and administration of the Chateau Cranne vineyards.
Michel, after finishing his studies in viticulture and doing some internship in other vineyards, decided to succeed André. The vineyard begin to be restructured and growth in order to be financially viable.
Michel and Annie will get married in 1975 in Loupiac. Annie came from Loupiac and her parents (Yves and Simone) were winegrowers and winemakers as well. Loupiac began to be recognized of their liquorish white wines in the banks of the Garonne River.
The golden age of trading and commerce began in Bordeaux. Exports sales grow considerably, allowing many winegrowers and winemakers to focus only in producing without worrying in finding customers and sell the wine.
Michel and Annie took this great opportunity of the demand growth for Bordeaux wines, and decided to expand the lands of the domain of the Chateau Cranne. By those years, the lands of Semens, Donzac, Loupiac, and Le Sauve Majuere were acquired. In only 20 years the vineyard extension was doubled.
The expansion of the vineyard is also because of the mechanization of some processes like: pruning the grapevines, spray treatments, harvesting machines, etc. However this era of great expansion also has developed a great network of “simplification”. For instance, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which are so expensive in the market, create in a long term “resistance” and all have this weak common point. Because of the workload and expansion, Michel decided to use them, but he began to doubt their efficacy, so that is why Jacques, a professional in the field, will help him giving the best advice.
The boom period, where the majority of wine producers grew and produce without worrying in selling was never a measure applied by Michel and Annie. Therefore, they decided to develop a particular clientele along the French West Coast. Their commercial network was created with the help of former wine collectors who came mostly in the 70’s.
The Château Cranne prepared itself to pass through a period of big and small crisis (especially in 1998) with the prices falling and trading in general.
Michel and Annie will have two children: Vincent and Camille. Camille decided to follow her own professional path and she is currently working as an Engineer in Airbus. Vincent decided to take over the administration and management of the domain Chateau Cranne.
Sixth GENERATION: Vincent LACOSTE and Stephanie LE GAC LANSALUT: Our first priority “Terroir”, the conversion to Organic Agriculture and Exports.
At the beginning Vincent was not interested in the vineyards during his infancy. It is trough his studies in the Agriculture Superior School of Angers (ESA) that his motivation grew to continue the legacy of five generations dedicated to the production of wine. In the region of Anjou Vincent talked with wine producers who are involved in Organic Agriculture and his concern begins to grow: Is it worth to change and take the risk? Changing from a conventional agriculture of the 80’s, which production yields was the first goal, to a holistic system that sustains the health of soils and the ecosystems. The economic crisis appeared and the era of “selling without worrying” lose completely its glory
I would like to share with you my story, my generation………………………
What are the courses of action of my generation? According to my own point of view, I can share with you the following information:
- Quality: the quality of our wines is directly linked to the terroir and its own expression, with a specific geographical area, the type of soil, and favorable climatic conditions. Including the knowledge and experience allow us to offer to you a variety of wines with their own characteristics, flavors and personalities.
- Management: considered in France an important economic tool. This responds to rules, codes and other limitations of the general context that can create a conflict between the economical decisions and the notion of “terroir” and quality.
- Communication: I believe that communication is the key to autonomy that is why I have created this blog in order to share our work and experience.
Of course there are other ways and measures but I consider these three the most important ones.
I came back to Bordeaux in 2004 and after several months working with a distributor and businessman in Paris, I installed myself as a young farmer, and established my own vineyard. Meanwhile I was able to create the domain of Chateau Jeandebout.
In 2008, we created the association of “Lacoste Vineyards” that bring together the domains of Chateau Cranne and Chateau Jeandebout.
Since then I begin to establish projects for the development of Lacoste vineyards. In January of 2010, I took the decision to change all the production into organic and for the moment we are in transition period that will conclude in 2013.
It is clear with this production system, we must work our soils deeply, considering not only the esthetic part but also the way to strengthen our vines with stronger and resistant roots. We have return life to our soils and we have found that some problems that were present before, we can manage to overcome them gradually.
After testing with other grapes varieties I can manage to establish two different categories of wines: the domain of Chateau Cranne that are cultivated in our terroir. This first category include (L’originel, Sauvignon Intense, Semillon Gourmand, Bouquet d’épices, and Fleur de Merlot) wines that are good companions for any occasion. The second range, which belongs to the 6th generation, is the response of authentic wines that grouped the
The domain of Chateau Jeandebout is a small production designated to the production of red wines (Bordeaux Rouge and Bordeaux Sec).
One of my main goals was to establish a network of sales and post-sales, consistent, strong, durable and reliable. I believe and establish direct contact with consumers, rather than having the intervention of big supplier chains that avoids the contact between producers and consumers.
Stephanie and I get married a 24th of July of 2010, under a sunny and warm sky. After studying Food Engineering, her professional path allowed Stephanie to work in the creation of high performance batteries. In this moment, she is working in the shipbuilding sector.
GENERATION 7 : We have three children, Brieuc, Heloïse and our little one, Alienor!