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Château La Gravière

Château La Gravière

That Château La Gravière exists at all is down to one woman, the late Catherine Péré-Vergé (1939 – 2013). Sadly Catherine is no longer with us, and her domaines are now run by her son, Henri Parent (pictured below). Catherine’s story has already been documented on these pages, particularly in my account of Château Montviel and Château Le Gay, but in view of her meteoric rise from newcomer to establishment in little less than two decades it is certainly worth retelling.

Born in 1939, Catherine Péré-Vergé was the daughter of Jacques Durand, who in 1926 had acquired Verrerie Cristallerie d’Arques, a famous manufacturer of lead crystal. The business grew into what we know today as Arc International, the largest lead crystal glass manufacturing business in the world. Catherine took up a post in the family business in 1959, when she was just twenty years old. During her time there, forty years in total, it grew into a massive enterprise with an annual turnover of over €1 billion, a success built upon several well known brands such as Luminarc. At the age of 60 she decided to retire, although Catherine was not one for putting her feet up. Instead, she turned her time and passion towards another aspect of her life, one that had long held her interest. This other interest was wine, and in particular Pomerol.

Château La Gravière

Catherine Péré-Vergé dipped her first toe into the Bordeaux waters in 1985, many years before that retirement, with the acquisition of Château Montviel. A weekends-only project, it was something of a training ground for Catherine, who readily admitted that at this time she knew little about viticulture and winemaking. It was after her retirement in 1999 that she became a permanent fixture in the appellation with her acquisition of Château Le Gay, a confident step onto the Pomerol top tier.

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