Château Lafleur: Jacques & Baptiste Guinaudeau

The Robin sisters were still in charge during the 1982 vintage, but at this time their tenure was drawing to a close. During their time they had changed little, keeping the vineyard in the same style, as Jacques Guinaudeau puts it, “as their papa had done”. They used no herbicides and no pesticides, but they were also not always on top of the pruning, and so while the soils were pristine, some of the vines under their care were distorted and twisted with age. They continued to work with oxen, the beast of choice in Pomerol where, says Jacques, “people were too poor to own horses”, right through to the end of the 1970s. It was only when their last remaining animal died, in 1979, and they were unable to source a replacement, that they finally acquiesced. They bought their first tractor.

Château Lafleur

A few years later Thérèse died, in 1984 to be precise, and at that point Marie decided to rent out the estate. It was her cousin Jacques Guinaudeau – both Marie and Jacques were great grandchildren to Henri Greloud – who took on the running of the vineyards, helped by his wife Sylvie. The two already had some experience of viticulture, having for several years tended vines at Château Grand Village, in Fronsac, where the two had married in 1980, and where they lived; they were perhaps the obvious choice to take the reins. Their first vintage was 1985, a year that thus marks the beginning of the Guinaudeau era at Château Lafleur.

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