Château du Taillan boasts a history both ancient and modern: the Cruse family moved to the property in 1896, and today the estate is run by five sisters – including Armelle – who represent the fourth generation of the same family. It’s thanks to this feminine aura that the estate has managed to reinvent itself over the years, raising its vintages to the highest level in the shape of the Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel. As a pioneer of wine tourism, Château du Taillan welcomes over 10,000 visitors every year.
With the legend of the Dame Blanche – White Lady – hasn’t your estate always had a feminine side?
With its white stone, the architecture of the 18th century château reflects this Dame Blanche. She was a Moorish princess who is said to have lived in the property and who, following the death of her Prince Chevalier d'Aquitaine, dressed in white for evermore. One of our most successful wines is a white wine that bears her name, because it is unusual due to its Medoc origin and the terroir where it is produced. But the estate was passed down from father to son until the fourth generation of owners – meaning myself and my four sisters.
What is your background, and what kind of commitments have you made?
I’ve come from an oenologist training. I trained in different countries in various organisations and positions: as a buyer and sales rep in France, and working for traders, brokers and large companies in the United States. Today, as vice-president of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, my major commitment is to promote Bordeaux through its winegrowers who fight for their wines to be recognised.
You are one of the estates that is most heavily involved in wine tourism in Bordeaux. Tell us about your approach.
I think that wine tourism isn’t just a very important communication tool, an after-sales service, but also a distribution channel. It’s essential because it means we can respond to a demand – the consumer’s growing interest in discovering the history of the bottles they drink and the identity of the people who produce them. This is something I understood very early on, which is why I wanted to share the history and heritage of Château du Taillan by opening its doors seven days a week and all year round. This idea of sharing is crucial for me, and that’s how my team is trained to welcome visitors. Wine tourism is a profession in its own right nowadays, and the technical teams are generally clocking out when the customer-facing staff are starting their day. Visitors don’t come during office hours, so we adapt by receiving the public in the evening and on weekends.
Is it an advantage to produce wine and live in a place classified as a Historic Monument?
I see how lucky I am every day to take advantage of this magnificent setting. At the same time, maintaining a place like this and keeping it alive calls for a lot of energy, work and tenacity. Creativity is also at the heart of my approach, but I do believe that being a woman helps me develop it – or at least be more daring. My philosophy is to use tradition in the service of modernity. That’s what drives me. Our goal is to keep the Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel that is Château du Taillan in the race and make sure it stays fashionable. In this respect, the Historic Monument aspect is certainly an asset, but it is far from being its only strength.
Château du Taillan
56 avenue de la Croix
33320 LE TAILLAN-MEDOC
Tél. +33(0)5 56 57 47 00
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org