Château Mayne Lalande: Passion according to Bernard Lartigue (October 2009, Sylvie Lepinay)
How to go, in a little over 20 years, from a modest mixed farming operation to a flagship domain of the Listrac Médoc appellation?
“You have to be either crazy or passionate,” replies Bernard Lartigue, who founded Château Mayne Lalande in 1982 from a family property of one hectare in ungrateful land. Today the vineyard, made up of about thirty plots, has 20. Work in the vineyard taken to the extreme, harvest at perfect maturity and ambitious aging have enabled Bernard Lartigue to raise this cru to the best of the appellation. Nice revenge for this son of farmers, who considers the absence of family atavism as an asset: “if the transmission of wine-growing know-how makes it possible to avoid some nonsense, it can also curb creativity”.
Heritage enhancement will not stop at the land. Bernard Lartigue then tackles the restoration of a ruined building, to give birth last spring to 5 guest rooms, discreet and bucolic luxury wonders skilfully mixing the classic with more design touches. “Wine tourism is a concept that I have always defended and practiced,” says our winegrower, who points out that his property welcomes nearly 2,000 customers a year. Today, the guest house has just been completed with a pedestrian route. Between forest and vines, the local boy Bernard Lartigue talks about the eels he fished as a child in the jalles and the rosebushes that punctuate the rows of vines in the Médoc. With, as in everything he undertakes, passion as a guide and driving force.