Château de Coulaine, 2016 Update

In trying to understand Chinon and its wines, I have always been interested in returning to Château de Coulaine. This impressive château sits at the side of the road heading down from Beaumont-en-Véron into Chinon itself, although being partially obscured by trees I am sure I drove past its impressive facade – enough to put many an 18th-century folly to shame – before I first noticed it. The proprietor, Etienne de Bonnaventure, has a fascinating pedigree, being a descendant of Claude Charles Denys de Bonnaventure, who in 1755 commanded a party of naval marines despite being just six years of age. His military career lasted until 1758, when (at the age of nine years) he was captured after the Siege of Louisbourg, a pivotal battle in the eventual end to French colonial rule in Canada.

Château de Coulaine

Château de Coulaine only came into the hands of the Bonnaventure family relatively recently, when Etienne’s grandfather Jean Denys de Bonnaventure, a descendant of Claude Charles, married Elisabeth de Laulanié de Sainte-Croix. I find Etienne to be a slightly elusive character, and I often find myself tasting with his wife, Pascale, who is charming and unquestionably elegant, and so I never find this a hardship.

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