Château Grand Corbin-Despagne

France, Bordeaux

Unusual in Bordeaux is to find the family that gave an estate its name – or, in this case, part of its name – still in situ but, at Château Grand Corbin-Despagne, François Despagne is the latest in a line of Despagnes going back to Louis Despagne who purchased some vines here in 1812. The Corbin estate had been, in antiquity, a vast estate to rival neighbouring Château Figeac and counted the Black Prince amongst its owners, but was divided and sub-divided over the years such that several estates have Corbin in their name. The Despagne family gradually accumulated more vineyard and, by 1852, it had reached its current 26ha. The vineyards are in the north-west corner of the St Emilion appellation, some distance from most of the famous châteaux, but near to Château Cheval Blanc. They are planted to 75% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Franc with the remaining 1% being small plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The vineyards are in the process of conversion to organic viticulture.