The history of Chateau Sainte-Marie dates back to the 19th century, when the first mention of the estate can be found in the 1874 edition of the prestigious Bordeaux wine encyclopedia, Feret. Today, traditions of old vines and excellent terroir remain the guiding principles at Chateau Sainte-Marie. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephane Dupoch, whose family has been running the winery since 1956, manages the estate with passion, determination, and respect for terroir.
Situated in the heart of Entre-Deux-Mers, a subregion of the greater Bordeaux AOC, Chateau Sainte-Marie reaps the benefits of exceptional soil and climate. Rooted in clay, chalk, and gravel, the estate’s vines are ideally exposed over two fertile and sunny hills, stretching some of the highest points of Gironde. It is here that one finds more than century-old Semillon and Merlot plantings, whose carefully controlled old vines provide only more assurance to the high level of quality in Chateau Sainte-Marie’s wines.
This excellence in terroir is anything but lost on Stephane Dupoch, who forges a link between low-intervention, traditional farming practices and modern, progressive winemaking. The estate is certified organic and biodiversity is encouraged. Stephane planted bamboo on his soils, which he mulches and places at the foot of vines. Rather than ordering truckloads of mulch from elsewhere, his system uses his own terroirs so as not to invite anything foreign into the vineyards. In the winery, wines ferment with indigenous yeast, and each parcel is vinified to maintain the specificity of its respective terroir. Timing is everything at Chateau Sainte-Marie; the lunar calendar is followed in both the field and the cellar. In embracing this natural winemaking philosophy, Stephane produces excellent white and red wines that are simultaneously fresh and expressive, while still fundamentally Bordeaux.