The history of a family passion

Gabriel Bruneteau, the architect of a future success

The history of Vignobles Gabriel & Co started with that of a man and an estate : in 1904, Gabriel Bruneteau founded the Domaine du Grand Moulin at Saint Aubin de Blaye, located 50 kilometres to the north of Bordeaux in the heart of the Blaye vineyards.

In the vineyard as in life, Gabriel Bruneteau was guided by his passionate interest in wine and people. In 1921, he was elected mayor of Saint Aubin de Blaye and founded his business, forerunner to Vignobles Gabriel & Co. History was underway.

Domaine du Grand Moulin, testimony to a decisive legacy

In the years following his death, mixed farming began to supplant winegrowing. The Domaine du Grand Moulin took a different path from that traced out by Gabriel, turning to grain and livestock farming. Although the vineyard remained, it changed and dwindled, and was planted solely to Ugni Blanc, a variety renowned for producing dry white wines and Cognac.

With each new successor, the Domaine du Grand Moulin underwent more changes, trying to find its way, but finally recovered its original spirit four generations later.

Jean François Reaud, the driving force of a renewed passion

In 1985, Jean-François Reaud inherited the estate. That year, the great-great grandson of Gabriel Bruneteau became owner of the seven remaining hectares of vines. He launched an impressive project, perpetuating the family history by reorganising and modernising the vineyard, which grew and diversified.

The estate became Château Le Grand Moulin, covering 25 hectares by the end of the 1990s. Jean-François Réaud decided to use the name of Château Les Aubiers, a name belonging to his family, to convert the original 25 hectares in organic farming in 2011. Today, the wines of Château Les Aubiers are made out of 44 hectares of vines in organic farming, including tenant farms. Back in 2011, the relentless Jean-François Réaud increased the surface of Château Le Grand Moulin to reach 81 hectares nowadays, in conventional farming. In 2015, he purchased a 15,5-hectare treasure vineyard of Blaye, the Château Haut Sociondo, that used to be a partner of Vignobles Gabriel & Co since 2012.

To meet increased consumer demand he decided to take things even further, creating a partnership to facilitate distribution and promotion of Right Bank wines. Convinced of the benefits of mutual assistance in the winegrowing business he joined forces with several neighbouring estates to enhance the reputation of their wines. This was the birth of Vignobles Gabriel & Co, the rise of a new family, and the coming of age of Gabriel Bruneteau’s enterprise. The story has come full circle.

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