Chateau d’Haurets is an enchantingly beautiful Chartreuse chateau constructed in the 1700s on the site of an ancient farm and windmill. Owned by the Ducourt family, d’Haurets sits in the Lieu Dit of Le Hourc at Ladaux in the Haut Benauge AOC. This is a little known appellation that produces some startlingly good reds. Haut Benauge may be hidden away, but it certainly has great terroir and therein lies its beauty. It lies directly across the Garonne River from Graves and it is considered one of the best grape-growing areas in this part of Bordeaux.
When re-telling their family history the Ducourt’s say ‘Everything begins in Benauge.’ They have been in this area for generations, settling at Le Hourc in 1858 and purchasing d’Hauret’s neighbouring Chateau Des Combes in 1885. It was Henri Ducourt who turned the family’s passion for wine making into a success story in 1951. He is the perfect example of a talented, self made entrepreneur. Having left school at 16, after it was bombed during the war, he orchestrated the rise of a small empire in the sleepy vineyards of his home.
An ambitious and courageous winemaker, Henri purchased Chateau d’Haurets in 1983, He patiently restored the ancient building, planted a magical rose garden and transformed its wines. He added to this estate with wise purchases over the years and the family vineyards grew to encompass 14 chateaux. Highly respected in Bordeaux, Henri is no less popular amongst his fellow townsfolk. He was Mayor of Ladaux for more than 40 years and was awarded with the National Order of Merit by the President of France in 2000.
The Ducourt’s love of the vine comes through in their wines. Their Clarets are made to be appreciated over time, and they only release their bottles when their wines are at their peak. The family say that this way, one can be sure that when they’re sat opposite a bottle of Ducourt, it’ll be at its best. Chateau d’Haurets 2012 won the coveted Paris Gold Medal and is a lovely wine with food. It pairs well with dark meats (duck, vension, rib of beef, rack of lamb, pigeon and kidneys) and dishes with rich sauces (red wine or mushroom). The locals recommend it with salami and stuffed peppers. It is fabulous with carpetbagger steak.
Learn more about Benauge on our Bordeaux AOC page: Haut Benauge