Château de Suronde, 2020 Update
One of the most fascinating developments in Bourgueil in recent years has been the revitalisation of Château de Minière by Kathleen Mareels-Van den Berghe. Originally from Belgium, Kathleen and her family came to the Loire Valley looking to invest in a holiday home, and ended up buying a rambling château with a large and parcellated vineyard.
The turnaround since then has been remarkable; the vineyard has been completely restructured, with distant sandy parcels sold off, and parcels around the château brought into the fold. The old vines – the vignes centenaires – were dedicated to a special cuvée which put the estate on the map in terms of quality. And with the help of two interesting sparkling wines (rosé and red, the latter deliciously dry unlike other sparkling Loire reds which are often carried along by a heady dosage) and the utilisation of the château as a function venue means the business has been transformed into a roaring success.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, I was delighted when I learnt a year or two ago that Kathleen had gone on to purchase Château de Suronde, which sits at the foot of the Quarts de Chaume appellation overlooking the waters of the Layon. The property has a fascinating story to tell, having been one of the four estates which characterised the appellation in its early years, as described by Pierre Bréjoux in Vins de Loire (Parisienne d’Editions Techniques et Commerciales,1956).