In 1989, Jean-Luc Thunevin and his wife Murielle Andraud acquired a  0.6 ha parcel in the Fongaban valley of Saint-Emilion, between Pavie-Macquin and La Clotte. This is where the name comes from: Val (valley) Andraud (Murielle’s family name, which appears on the Saint-Emilion’s registry since 1459). The adventure of Valandraud began in 1991. Since, they have acquired more properties in famous locations such as Saint-Sulpice de Faleyrens and Saint-Etienne de Lisse.

The estate now spreads over 8.8 ha of vines planted on clayey-limestone hills, with 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 1% Carmenère. The grapes are always hand-harvested and sorted twice: first in the vineyard, then upon arrival at the cellar. The vinification starts in stainless steel, wooden and cement tanks, with pigeage and remontages during a 3-week maceration.

Thunevin uses 100% new oak. His philosophy is that there is a reason used barrels are cheap… new oak is the best for the job, as long as it is well integrated. It is the winemaker’s job to ensure balance. The wine is aged 18 to 30 months, and the blend changes a bit each year.

Farming practices: No herbicides have been used since the 90’ and only a small amount of pesticides is used. Thunevin ventured in biodynamie in 2001 but that proved too difficult for the climate.

Château Valandraud

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