Château Camensac: Bruno Popp

Writing in Les Grands Crus Bordelais (Librairie Goudin, 1867), Alfred Danflou was full of praise for the vineyard and in particular its magnificent position, on “le côteau le plus beau” of the Médoc. He noted that the domaine belonged to Bruno Popp, a “viticulteur très distingué”, who not only excelled in the running of his vineyard it seems he also developed a new system in the chai for receiving and distributing the harvest to the vats. He installed a mobile press, which ran along the first floor, over the cuves on the level below. Thus the grapes could be received and dropped into the vessels with the minimum of effort. The author raved about the method, and clearly felt he had seen the future, predicting that the arrangement would soon be commonplace across the entire Médoc.

Château Camensac

Strangely, while the property remained in the hands of this family, the situation appeared to decline during the years that followed. At the time of Danflou’s visit the vineyard was producing 70 to 80 tonneaux per annum, but by 1868 this was down to 50 to 70 tonneaux, a figure which Lorbac & Lallemand, writing in Les Richesses Gastronomiques de la France: Les Vins de Bordeaux (Hetzel, 1868) rounded down to 50 tonneaux. As Danflou also tells us the vineyard was just 25 hectares, this implies the yields at this time were in the order of 18 hl/ha, an impressively low figure.

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