Domaine de baron'arques
China France Wine

20 years on, Domaine de Baronarques gets a new lease of life

Domaine de Baronarques, the Languedoc estate owned by the illustrious Baron Philippe de Rothschild group, has released its latest 2018 vintage, dubbed "one of the most accomplished vintages" since the Rothschild purchased the estate 20 years ago.

Domaine de Baronarques, the Languedoc estate owned by the illustrious Baron Philippe de Rothschild group, has released its latest 2018 vintage, dubbed “one of the most accomplished vintages” since the Rothschild purchased the estate 20 years ago.

The new vintage released upon its 20th anniversary under the Rothschild family brand is lauded by Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Chairman and CEO of Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, as being given a “new lease of life” and the estate’s wines are now “reckoned among the finest from the south of France.”

Domaine de Baronarques is purchased by the Baron Philippe de Rothschild family in 1998 (pic: Domaine de Baronarques)

Once owned by the 8th-century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Polycarpe, Domaine de Baronarques caught the eye of the late Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, which led to the ensuing purchase, the latest and last addition to Rothschild family’s star-studded portfolio that includes Bordeaux first growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Opus One in Napa and Almaviva in Chile.

Rooted in the Aude region of Languedoc, a historic center of French winegrowing, the estate sprawls 110 ha of land, of which 43 is planted under vine. However, it took 20 years for the winery to find its footing.

The vineyard went through major restructuring in order to find the right combination of terroirs, grape varieties and climatic factors. Twenty years were spent in observation and study before releasing the 20th anniversary vintage, according to the winery.

Domaine de baron'arques
Domaine de Baronarques red wine (pic: Domaine de Baronarques)

Speaking of the release, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild says: “From the outset – 20 years ago already! – my sister, my brother and I were attracted first and foremost by the quality and complexity of the terroir, though also by the charm, the colours and the light of this very lovely estate, nestling at the point where the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates meet.

“After a considerable amount of work in the vineyard and the winery, and thanks to the remarkable know-how of the people from Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the wines of Domaine de Baronarques have been given a new lease of life and are now reckoned among the finest from the south of France. They take their rightful place among those of the family’s other estates.”

Looking East

shanghai, China
Shanghai (pic: iStock)

The latest vintage of the estate’s top wines, a 100% Chardonnay and the red blend, are now available in Greater China, as the family hopes to replicate the success of the much sought-after brands such as Opus One, Almaviva and Chateau Mouton Rothschild in China.

Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China – among the first places to recover from the covid-19 pandemic – are identified as key export markets for the family for 2021.

Roughly 25% of the estate’s premium wine production will be heading east to these markets, at a time when wineries are vying to take up the 40% market void left by Australian wines due to crushing tariffs.

The two wines are priced around RMB 500 a bottle each for the mainland market and HKD 400 for Hong Kong market.

The 2018 premium red wine is made with 47% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 21% Syrah, 5% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the white is a 100% Chardonnay made in Burgundian style, says its estate director Augustin Deschamps.

Production volume is limited. The red is made around 6000 cases, while the white is around 2,000 cases.

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