Château Cap de Mourlin
The Capdemourlin family have one of the oldest names in St Emilion, and thus they also have one of the longest associations with its vineyards. Just to the north of the town, on the gentle back slope of the St Emilion plateau as it gives way to the more sandy and alluvial soils, there is a small hamlet named Cap de Mourlin. The family claim to have been tending the vine here for hundreds of years, at least since the 16th century, and perhaps for much longer than that.
That the family have been here many centuries is unquestionable. As I have already discussed in my profile of Château Balestard La Tonnelle, another of their estates in St Emilion, the family tree extends back as far as Antoine Capdemourlin. He was christened in St Emilion on September 15th 1617, and many years later he was recorded as making and selling wine in the region.
The family tree after Antoine is well documented. Antoine had three children, a son Méric who inherited the domaine, followed by a grandson also called Antoine. During the 18th century the domaine was passed from one generation to the next, first Louis, a son to the latest Antoine, then yet another Antoine, then François and next was Elie. Little is known about these individuals. It was during the 19th century that we can begin to flesh out the story a little more, with Jean, the eighth generation since Antoine, and then the ninth, Jean-Amédée.
Jean-Amédée, usually referred to as Amédée, born as the 19th century drew to a close, is one of the more significant figures in this story. Most notably he was instrumental in founding the St Emilion Crédit Agricole, part of a nationwide network of local banks that emerged following the creation of the Société de Crédit Agricole in the Jura in 1885.