Bourgueil & Anjou, Loire, France
The legacy of historical vineyards in the heart of the Loire
What started as the desire to fulfil a lifestyle dream has since developed into a full commitment to winemaking in the heart of two of the Loire´s most iconic appellations – Bourgueil and Anjou. Kathleen Van den Berghe and her family not only fell in love with Château de Minière but also with the estate’s historical Cabernet Franc vineyards and the outstanding wines they produce. Eventually they would expand their passion to Chateau de Suronde’s
Kathleen Van den Berghe and husband Sigurd Mareels were visiting friends at their estate in Tuscany when the desire to have their own countryside haven bloomed. After exploring different wine regions and sites, their feeling about Château de Minière was nothing short from love at first site. The fact that Sigurd worked in the mining business (´Minière´ is the French for mining) seemed only fitting. But if the Château’s romantic setting at the heart of the Loire was what first drew them in, the estate’s winemaking legacy and historical old vineyards would eventually become the family’s focus.
Kathleen truly embraced the treasure that the 18 hectares of old Cabernet Franc vineyards presented: the opportunity to produce outstanding expressions of the Bourgueil appellation. Since taking over the estate in 2010, it has moved fully to organic farming. They now produce a full range of Bourgueil AOP wines, from a refreshing pétillant naturel to complex aged reds, showing all the shades and styles that Cabernet Franc can express itself as. The estate has since grown to a total of 29ha under vine.
In 2016 the family also acquired Château de Suronde, yet another iconic Loire estate, with 7 hectares of biodynamic-certified Chenin Blanc vineyards, 5.5 of fall into the Quarts de Chaume Appellation, the only Grand Cru in Loire Valley. The Chaume schist soils bring out some of the best examples of Chenin in the Loire, with incredible acidity and ripeness balance. Bringing the estate back into full operation and these amazing wines into production is now Kathleen’s main goal.
Location: Bourgueil & Anjou, Loire, France
Working with us since: 2020
Total area under vine: 29 hectares (Minière), 7 hectares (Suronde)
Viticultural standards: Certified Organic (Minière), Biodynamic – Demeter (Suronde)
Interesting fact: Château de Minière has a long matriarchal tradition, with an impressive lineage of women at the helm of the estate since 1767. From Marie-Genevieve d’Espinay to Kathleen Mareels-Van den Berghe, the Château’s feminine tradition is certainly reflected on elegance and precision of its wines.