A Luxury Wine Tourism Complex in the heart of the AOP La Clape region in Languedoc
It’s a red letter day, Vignobles Bonfils – with 17 chateaux and estates in Occitania and 4 wine tourisme sites – has announced the official opening of Château Capitoul, the iconic La Clape property in Languedoc. The new wine tourism complex aligns with the strategy of this family-owned group, one of the largest vineyard owners in France with 1,600 hectares under vine. Here is a closer look at Vignobles Bonfils and the revival of Château Capitoul with its range of AOP La Clape wines.
The story begins in 1870 with one lady, Honorine Bonfils, the great-great-grandmother of Laurent Bonfils, CEO of Vignobles Bonfils. For 151 years, this family of artisan farmers and winegrowers has been a part of the winegrowing history of the Mediterranean. With their 17 chateaux and estates, located in Occitania, they farm nearly 1,600 hectares of vines, certified HVE in 2019. All of them are in Languedoc’s quality appellations and IGPs: La Clape, Corbières, Côtes du Roussillon, Languedoc, Minervois… The family is one of France’s largest vineyard owners. Since 2011, through its alliance with Domaine & Demeure, they have jointly brought 3 of Languedoc’s flagship estates back to life: Les Carasses, Saint-Pierre de Serjac and in 2021, Capitoul. In Roussillon, they have achieved the same with the inspirational Château l’Esparrou.
“Being a wine tourism practitioner implies creating an emotional bond and becoming a region’s ambassador” claims Laurent Bonfils. After the Bonfils family purchased Château Capitoul in 2011, this is the spirit in which it spent time giving the La Clape icon a new lease of life. The new wine tourism complex encapsulates the family’s values, advocating conviviality, pleasure & luxury, local and sustainable principles. Its aim is to share its inherent vinous character from the vine to the glass. After three years of renovation work, this showpiece of 19th century winery architecture has been restored and transformed, whilst preserving its genuine identity and splendour. The 93-hectare estate – encompassing garrigue, olive groves, grounds and 62 hectares of unbroken vines – is nestled amidst the unspoilt countryside in Languedoc’s largest national park and Natura 2000 area. Here, everything has been designed to protect the environment sustainably using eco-friendly practices, one of the pillars of which is protecting water resources. Around the edges of the vineyards, a dry-stone wall habitat has been built for ocellated lizards. Bats have not been forgotten either. For the Bonfils family, sustainability also implies making younger generations mindful of the environment.
The 62 hectares of Grenache noir and blanc, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Cinsault vines surround this iconic property in AOP La Clape, Languedoc’s first appellation to be granted village-designated status, for reds and whites. The re-opening of Château Capitoul coincides with a complete overhaul and redesign of the range. Under the La Clape appellation, it boasts 6 reds and 5 whites along with 3 Languedoc rosés.
Focus on 3 wines:
Rosé: Rive – AOP Languedoc, HVE
Varietal range: Cinsault 40%, Syrah 30%, Grenache noir 30%
A very refined elegant, food-friendly rosé matured in oak casks, with a long saline finish.
White: Rocaille – AOP La Clape, HVE
Varietal range: Bourboulenc 40%, Marsanne 30%, Grenache Blanc 20%, Roussanne 5%, Viognier 5%
Soils: Clay-limestone, pebbles
The ultimate white La Clape which honours the appellation’s grape varieties and shows lots of suppleness and freshness.
Price: 12 €
Red : Maelma – AOP La Clape, HVE
Varietal range: Syrah 40%, Grenache Noir 40%, Carignan 20%
Soils: Clay-limestone, pebbles
Power, complexity and elegance come together in this iconic label, Maelma.
Price: 38 €