A couple smiling at the camera, standing behind an ornate metal gate in a sunny outdoor setting at Château Couronneau.

Château Couronneau

 White line illustration of a grapevine with clusters of grapes and detailed leaves

When Bénédicte and Christophe Piat first laid eyes on Château Couronneau, the castle walls were collapsing and its vineyards were decimated. The year was 1994 and the grounds had certainly seen better days. Dating back to the 15th century, the castle had served as a residence at different times to the influential Couronneau and Cartier families as well as a collection of Swiss artists. It had also seen its fair share of struggle, having withstood two sieges as well as a major storm. Nevertheless, it was in this state of disrepair that the Piats fell in love with Château Couronneau. The opportunity for restoration only made the Piats more certain that this was the perfect place to start a family and begin their journey as winemakers.

The estate is run by a small team of six, now including the Piat’s son, Grégoire. Since its restoration, the family has focused on natural and holistic farming methods that aim to be in harmony with the Earth and the terroir of Château Couronneau. They were early adopters of an organic approach, before shifting to biodynamics, for which they were certified in 2009. Therefore they avoid adding chemicals such as sulfites. The team vinifies plots individually, taking special care to select the right methods for each of their wines whether it be stainless steel vats, amphorae or wooden barrels. Resting at the highest point of Gironde on the slope Sainte Foy la Grande, the high altitude in conversation with the clay-limestone soils and naturalistic techniques gives their wines  a rich complexity.