Henri Bonneau is an absolute celebrity in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. His first vintage came on the market in 1956 and since then, the winery has become well-established in the Rhone Valley. Although the first wine only came on the market in the 1950s, the estate and its vineyards date from 1667. The centuries-old underground wine cellar is still in its original condition.
Henri learned the trade from his father, who in turn learned it from his father. The traditions have been passed down for generations. After Henri's death, his son Marcel took charge of the winery. The property consists of 6.5 hectares spread over approximately ten plots. Grenache dominates the plantings with almost 90%. The remaining share consists of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Counoise. The best plots are on the rocky soil of the La Crau plateau. The yield per hectare is extremely low, about 10-12hl/ha.
The grape bunches are only destemmed in below-average years, when the grapes aren’t ripe enough. The fermentation takes place in cement vats. The juice is then aged in wooden barrels. Bonneau has a wide range of barrels, from large foudres to small barrels that are several years old. It is only at the vinification stage that it is decided which juice is destined for which wine. This can sometimes take years, since the wines have a long aging period. The wines produced are Reseve des Celestins, Marie Beurrier and Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The wines are very exclusive and difficult to get hold of, especially the older vintages are very popular. The best Henri Bonneau vintages are: 1978, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016.Read more