Château Lamothe de Haux
Château Lamothe’s foundations date back to the 16th century. Its renovation in the 19th century transformed the building into a charming residence whose facade is pictured on the wine labels. Located in the commune of Haux, on top of a clay-limestone slope in the heart of the Bordeaux wine country, this estate has been devoted to winegrowing from the very beginning, and has belonged to the same family for 4 generations (as of 1956). The 80 hectares of vineyards, including those of neighboring Château Manos, purchased in 1991, are managed today by Damien and Maria Chombart and with help from Maria’s mother Anne Neel.
As time went on, the owners of Lamothe de Haux expanded their vineyard holdings, renovated impressive underground galleries and turned them into cellars, and achieved a fine international reputation for their wines thanks to high quality production and dynamic marketing both in France and abroad.
Thirty-five million years ago, the Aquitaine region was covered with water. As the aeons passed, with profound changes to climate and geology, the water receded and left a deposit: layers of limestone (in which mammoth fossils have been found!). This limestone was naturally used as a building material by our ancestors. In fact, there are traces of troglodyte homes at Lamothe dug out of solid rock during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, quarries were excavated on the estate to construct the château as well as other buildings in the vicinity of Bordeaux. It was only logical that the underground galleries should be used as an ageing cellar. Why build one when there was one already there? It is not only full of history but also features a cool, even temperature all year round. Located some 30 metres under the surface, the humidity is perfect. There is also a total absence of light and a profound silence …
The first gallery has an almost religious atmosphere. It contains 300 barrels in which the red wine ages for 12 to 18 months. Another, larger gallery houses bottles for slow, gentle ageing.
“At Château Lamothe de Haux we are committed to wine production that follows the logics of a sustainable viticulture” Damien Chombart.
“In order to respect and preserve the environment, we promote biodiversity in our vineyards and practice every day friendly viticulture, from plots to the cellar. Hence we are fully committed to the EMS program with the goal of obtaining the quality certification according to ISO14001 standard”.
Located in the commune of Haux, on top of a round hill, Château Manos is a neighbour of Château Lamothe de Haux, which took over management starting in 1991. The Néel-Chombart family is in charge of viticulture, winemaking, and sales of this wine, which takes advantage of the fame of its older brother, Sauternes.
The owner, Monsieur Niotout, was cellar master for 20 years at Château Coutet in Barsac, and is an acknowledged specialist in sweet white wines. For many years, Château Manos has been one of the leading wines of the Cadillac appellation.
A mythical car, a golden wine … It is no accident that the name Cadillac makes people dream. In the 16th century, a certain Antoine de Lamothe de Cadillac left his native Southwest France to conquer the New World. After many adventures, he founded the city of Detroit, which is also where the legendary Cadillac, named after the pioneer, is produced.
Since 1956, 3 generations of the same family have managed Château Lamothe: first of all the Perriquets, then the Néels, and now the Chombarts. Succession has always passed through the female side, which explains the different names. Château Lamothe is a family business and we do our best to inspire and share our enthusiasm with our employees. While every person does several jobs, each one has a speciality. Damien oversees the entire estate and often travels abroad to promote the wines. Maria stays at Lamothe most of the time and is in charge of preparing orders and organising shipments. Anne Néel is responsible for sales to private customers and works on the production side, both in the vineyard and cellars.
The rest of the team consists of Françoise & Caroline in the office, Stéphane for the Technical Management, Laura in the cellar, Loulou and Joël in the labelling room, and Chloé, Carole, Bruno, Fabien and Nouredine in the vineyards. Everyone is motivated to do their best, and several have followed in their parents’ footsteps – further examples of different generations who have chosen to live and work at Lamothe!
In a nutshell