Chateau de Saint-Aubin
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The Château de Saint-Aubin : the new home of Prosper Maufoux

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Located in the city-center, the Château de Saint-Aubin overlooks the village. The Piffaut Family bought the monument in 2015 and carried out numerous works to make this place the new Prosper Maufoux wine house.

By purchasing the Château de Saint-Aubin, the Piffaut Family Wines and Domains wishes to develop wine tourism to make this place the new Prosper Maufoux Wine House.

" Asserting a viticultural presence in the great terroirs of the Côte de Beaune "
Before this takeover, it was mainly a wine estate. "Saint-Aubin was an obvious choice because of the presence of the château, which is the epicenter of the Prosper Maufoux Estate on the Côte de Beaune. The House wanted to assert its winegrowing presence in the great terroirs of the Côte de Beaune by purchasing an estate composed of some of the most prestigious appellations. The opportunity presented itself, along with a building with great potential that we wanted to fully exploit, at the cost of major work," says Florian Migeon, marketing manager.

Guest rooms
Since the beginning of June, the Château de Saint-Aubin offers four guest rooms of about 20 and 25 square meters with breakfast and heated swimming pool.   Visits of the domain and the place are possible. The family is looking to make this place an experiential one. Léopold Half, wine tourism manager, explains: "We would like to develop partnerships with local actors in order to keep a local identity. The idea would be to create customized experiences with one-off events. The winery would be ideal for concerts, for example. The ambition is to welcome up to ten thousand visitors per year.
The cellars, the prestige cellar and the gallery have been renovated or fitted out. "The prestige cellar did not exist. It was a completely open space. We built everything ourselves, we were at level minus 2; there was a lot of work to achieve this result."
Maison Prosper Maufoux plans to open a restaurant on the second terrace overlooking the castle's clos by 2022. "The idea is to create a bistronomic restaurant with a local chef and exclusively regional products by creating an open space overlooking the vineyards," says the wine tourism manager.

The investments linked to the renovation of the castle represent several million euros. In all, more than twenty-five companies (most of them local) and eight design offices participated in the work.

A secret cellar
Dating from the 18th century, the monument belonged to a descendant of one of King Louis XIV's musketeers, the Countess of Trébon. The place hides secrets and mysteries. "When the Piffaut family took over the castle, they had heard that there were hidden spaces. It was during the work, in the cellar part, that we were surprised to find a secret cellar.
The space was sealed, and we had to probe and drill to get into the room, because the place was hollow. At the time, in these cellars, they must have buried their treasures," says Léopold Half.

The Piffaut family, one of the largest wine producers in the region
Wishing to further develop and strengthen wine tourism, the Piffaut Family wines and estates bought in 2010 the Maison Prosper Maufoux, created in 1860 by Prosper Maufoux in Santenay and installed since 2019 in Saint-Aubin. Five generations have marked this family which owns four wine houses: Rivarose in the South, Veuve Ambal , André Delorme and Prosper Maufoux. And which has six estates, representing 280 hectares in Burgundy: Domaine Gracieux Chevalier south of Chablis, Marie Ambal in Châtillon-sur-Seine, La Vigne au Roy in the High Côtes de Nuits, Domaine London in Mâcon, André Delorme in the Couchois and Maranges, and the Château de Saint-Aubin, bought in 2015. The Famille Piffaut wines and estates group, one of the largest wine owners in the region, achieved €80 million in sales in 2020.

An estate of 9 hectares
The Piffaut Family, in buying the Château de Saint-Aubin, acquired the estate which represents 9 hectares of vines. The first wines were vinified in 2015. Mathieu Joblot, oenologist, says: "I have been working here since 2016, there has been a lot of work. The winery did not exist, it was in an old building. It's only been three years that we've been vinifying in this winery."

The estate restructured by the family
"Before, there were many reds with less promising wines. A consequent work concerning the uprooting of vines and replanting on the whole estate took place. In 2016, 12 hectares were planted. The parcels located in the Clos du Château were put back into the ground for the Village appellation. The premier cru at the top of the plot was already existing, while the Village appellation did not exist, it was a meadow," continues the oenologist. The Clos du Château comprises a total of 2 hectares, with a first parcel of Saint-Aubin 1er Cru and a second of Saint-Aubin Village. "The will of the Piffaut family was to have a majority of white wines. The estate therefore only includes one and a half hectares of reds, the rest being mainly composed of whites; the altitude of the terroir is rather favorable to Chardonnay," confides Mathieu Joblot.

The 2021 vintage, a year like no other. 
The estate, which started harvesting on September 28, has noticed a clear change compared to previous years. The oenologist at Maison Prosper explains: "This is a later year, with a climate that is not favorable to the vines. We are no longer used to harvesting in October. The estate was particularly affected by the frost. We lost half of the harvest. We are on a year worse than 2016, with very low yields, and which was trying for the people of the vineyard, because with a vigilance of every moment between the bad weather and diseases managed. But the estate will still manage to maintain a certain quality."

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Le Bien Public - Maud Mignotte