The Story

The first known ancestors of the Amoreau family date back to 1610. They lived pretty much exactly where the Le Puy estate is now, over 400 years later, so it’s safe to say it’s a family and a land steeped in history. The Amoreau family were pioneers in the world of viniculture, educating themselves in the benefits of holistic farming methods such as the use of vegetal fertilisers and cooperage techniques at an early stage, with Barthélemy Amoreau questioning the necessity for the use of sulphites all the way back in the mid 19th century.

1932 saw the invention of the “fouilleuse” by Pierre-Robert Amoreau, a kind of mechanical plough, which enabled shallow cultivation of their soils, leaving its precious ecosystem undisturbed. The health of the vineyards flourished, and under the talented guidance of Paule Amoreau, (Jean-Pierre’s mother who had taken charge of the vineyards as all the men had been sent to war), the estate began to produce some of its best wines to date.

Throughout the 70’s a focus was made on enhancing the estates biodiversity even more, with some vines pulled up and replaced with ponds, flower meadows and woodlands.

1994 saw the birth of their iconic cuvée Barthélémy, and Le Puy became the first estate to introduce dynamisation in both the vineyard and the cellar. A truly unique process, dynamisation in the cellar involves stirring the wine two to three times a month (according to the lunar calendar) one way, and then the other way to create a vortex of chaos. This results in many things, (some tangible, some not so much!) most notably more texture, less sediment and a wine of intense intrigue…

The last 20 years have been full of exciting developments from the estate; introducing bees and re-introducing horse-power; analysing the wines through crystallisation; building their own in-house lab and further improving the eco-footprint of the estate…and more!

Le Puy are certified biodynamic by Demeter.

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The People

Jean-Pierre, Françoise & Pascal

Currently run by Jean-Pierre, Françoise and Pascal – the 15th generation of the Amoreau family, who began making wine back in 1610. Le Puy takes traditional winemaking seriously, building on past innovations. In 1921, Jean Amoreau began the practice of using only the finest grapes and destemming them before vinification, significantly reducing bitterness. This was built upon in 1934 when Robert Amoreau introduced the “chapeau immerge” extraction method. A further historical flourish is the naming of wines after Amoreau family members from history.

Watch Pascal's Amoreau's introduction to the 400-year-old family estate here

Watch Emeline Callet’s (Le Puy's Export Manager) interview with 67 Pall Mall.

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The Place

Bordeaux, France

Overlooking the Dordogne River it is not unusual to find sharpened fragments of flint in the soil from battles that took place on the land long ago. The soils at Le Puy features silica, limestones and clay, and stand at 110 metres above sea level.

The vineyard is now spread across 35 hectares, over three plots, and is located on what was once known as the “Plateau of Wonders”. Old vines are used, often more than 50 years old.