• Vignobles Comtes von Neipperg

Vignobles Comtes von Neipperg

Members of the Franconian aristocracy with a long political and agricultural tradition, the Counts von Neipperg family line can be traced back to the 12th century. Representing some eight centuries of winegrowing and winemaking experience, today Count Stephan von Neipperg manages the 9 family-owned estates, 4 of which are in Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux: Château Canon La Gaffelière, La Mondotte, Clos de l’Oratoire, Château Peyreau.

Comtes Von Neipperg is a noble family of the Holy Roman Empire that since the 12th ceentury had interest in vineyards and winemaking in the German region of Wurttemberg. In 1971 Joseph-Hubert Von Neipperg purchases 4 domaines in Saint-Emilion: Château Canon La Gaffelière, La Mondotte, Clos de l’Oratoire, Château Peyreau. In 1982 Stephan Von Neipperg and his wife Sigweis settled at Canon La Gaffeliere after their marriage to take over the management of Vignobles Comtes von Neipperg.

In addition to their Saint-Emilion properties they additionally own Chateau Guiraud in Sauternes, Capaia in South Africa and Bessa Valley in Bulgaria.

Each château has its own specific terroirs and although they share similar viticultural and winemaking methods, the terroir comes through in the wine each time.  Canon La Gaffelière is famous for its complexity and elegance, whereas power and minerality are the bywords for La Mondotte. Starting in the 1990s, the oldest vines in the von Neipperg vineyards have been propagated by mass selection to preserve a high-quality genetic heritage and guarantee total independence when replanting. This is a major effort on behalf of future generations.

The various elements that make up terroir are considered a living entity worth preserving. This is why natural methods – green cover, composting, and planting of hedges – are used to protect the ecosystem and to produce unique wines reflecting their origin. Dating from 1988, this deep ecological commitment is constantly revised and updated to enhance the environment and biodiversity. Many years of effort culminated in obtaining in organic certification for Château Canon La Gaffelière and La Mondotte in 2014. In addition, both estates are now ISO 14001 certified.

Winemaking philosophy: After harvest the grapes are not crushed. They go directly into vat via gravity flow and fruit from each plot is kept separate. the grapes are not crushed. They go directly into vat via gravity flow and fruit from each plot is kept separate. It was decided to implement pneumatic pigeage (punching down the cap) as long ago as 1997. This method is propitious to smooth, even, homogeneous extraction to express the best that the fruit has to offer, and is always modulated in keeping with vintage character. Wine from different plots is kept separate during ageing on the lees and receives individual attention. Barrels are carefully selected to complement rather than overwhelm the wine's intrinsic fruitiness. The final blend is only made after an average 18 months of barrel ageing.