Chateau Fonroque, Bordeaux


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Alain Moueix owner and winemaker Chateau Fonroque


Chateau Fonroque was purchased by the Moueix family in 1931. Jean Moueix liked the Bordeaux wine property so much, he lived at the estate. After his death Fonroque was run by the son Jean-Antoine Moueix. Eventually the property joined several other Right Bank wineries and came to be managed by Éts Jean-Pierre Moueix. This happened in 1979.  In 2001, Alain Moueix took charge of the Bordeaux wine chateau. Alain also manages the Pomerol estate, Chateau Mazeyres. Along with the Pomerol estate, Moueix runs Chateau Moulin du Cadet. Things changed at Chateau Fonroque once Alain Moueix took charge. Most importantly, he was responsible for instigating a new method of farming. In 2002, the St. Emilion estate began experimenting with biodynamic farming techniques on select parcels in their vineyards. Chateau Fonroque was clearly one of the first estates in the entire Bordeaux region to begin using organic farming methods. In 2005, Alain Moueix and Chateau Fonroque became early members of the Syndicat de Vignerons en Biodynamie. By 2005, the estate became one of the first vineyards in Bordeaux to embrace using biodynamic farming techniques. This earned them their certificate of Biodyvin from Ecocerts. Chateau Fonroque was also awarded the right to state they were certified organic on their labels. Starting with the 2008 Bordeaux harvest, Fonroque shifted to 100% biodynamic viticulture practices their vineyard management techniques. The 20 hectare St. Emilion, Bordeaux vineyard of Fonroque is planted to 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. The terroir is clay, limestone and sand soils. On average, the vines are close to 35 years of age. Prior to the era of Alain Moueix, the estate had a much higher percentage of Cabernet Franc in the vineyards. But over the years, they have added more Merlot vines and reduced the Cabernet Franc. Vinification takes place in traditional, temperature controlled, cement vats. The wines are aged in a combination of 40% new French oak and 40% one year old, French oak with the remaining wine aging in vat for 14 to 18 months. On average the production is close to 5,000 cases of Chateau Fonroque per year.