The Château de Pougelon

The Château de Pougelon was built in 1662.The pavilion and service quarters are in a Henri IV and Louis XIII style. One of the famous heir of the La Font family is Antoine Guillin dePougelon, who inherited from his grand-mother Elisabeth. As a lawyer, he contributed to ennoble the family, and was involved in politics in Lyon. Generations later, Gabrielle Guillin de Pougelon marries the Count de Loriol, and becomes the Comtesse de Pougelon, feminine and emblematic figure of the castle. Unfortunately, her grand-son who was a gambler, will lose the castle at a dice game and will set fire to the archives.

That is when a second family became owner of the castle: the Lacroix family. Louis Lacroix was a silk manufacturer, who also contributed to move the Silk Stock Exchange from London to Lyon. He actively participated in the restoration of the main building of the castle, by creating the corridor which gives access to every room, and by renovating the main hall (last renovation in 1850). His grandson, a business man who owns the Brossette company (bought by Saint Gobain), contributed in the creation of the cooperative winery of Saint Etienne des Oullieres.

The third family to own the castle is our family, Descombe. An ancient link united us to the Lacroix, as it is Florent Descombe (2nd generation) who performed Ms. Lacroix’s and Mr. Bréchignac’s wedding at the town hall of Saint Etienne des Oullières in 1958 (strikes unabled the engaged couple to reach Paris).

The vineyards

The vineyard was originally composed of Beaujolais Villages, surrounding the property. After family Descombe takeover, it has been extended to other appellations.

From South to North :

  • Beaujolais Blanc on clay-limestone soils in the Pierres Dorées area (vines of the family of Marine Descombe’s husband)
  • Beaujolais-Villages on the granitic soils in the village of Saint-Etienne-des-Oullières
  • 2 of the most famous crus : Brouilly because the vines of the Castle are the most northerly of the Beaujolais-Villages appellation, very close to the Brouilly, and Morgon "Les Charmes" as the Descombe family story is closely related to this appellation: The grand-mother of Florent Descombe (4th Generation) was a winegrower in this appellation
  • 3 other crus, Fleurie Grille-Midi and Julienas, to represent more broadly the Beaujolais wines

The vines work

The vines work occurs with a constant attention paid to thequality of the future wine and our impact on our environment and our soils :

  • Vine training in a regenerative agriculture approach : Organic life intensification, plant protection strategy, management of water,... The estate is transitioning to organic agriculture.
  • Manual Harvest : harvest in individual cases with a strict sorting.
  • Vinification : semi-carbonic maceration or partial destemming. Spontaneous fermentation without using sulfites. Every year, we search for the perfect balance between the fruitiness of the Beaujolais and the structure of the wine, which allows us to drink our wines when they’re young, but also after several years of aging. ¨Plot by plot vinification.

Domaine Passy le clou

The Patrice’s family created the Domaine Patrice in the 1950s, on the beautiful terroirs of the Chablis region. Originally cereal farmer, the family transformed the lands into vines and developped the vineyard on the appellations Petit Chablis, Chablis, and Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy during 30 years. Initially member of the cooperative cellar, the family decided in the early 2000s to build its own cellar in Beine, to make its own wines and bring its expertise to the wines of the property. The wine was then sold in bulk to wine merchant partners.

The Descombe family takes over the estate in 2017 and then created the Domaine Passy le Clou, to distribute the production in bottles. For this, investments were made in the cellar, by increasing the capacity of the winery, and adding small tanks which allow to vinify the entire estate production plot by plot since 2018.
The Estate is now composed of 21 plots scattered over the Chablis region, with distinctive characteristics for each of them.

Very concerned about his historical but also fragile terroir, The Domaine Passy Le Clou then started focusing on its soils and wild life preservation.
Implementing sustainable agricultural methods, the domain has obtained high environmental value certification.

The winery presents modern production equipment, essential to making great white wines.

Domaine de Là-Haut

“ The Descombe family do not lack projects…” 

Due to its central position in eastern France, we always have had special relationship with producers of Beaujolais, Bourgogne and the Rhône Valley region.

In 2018, the family decided to start a new adventure in the north of the Rhône Valley, by acquiring vines in the Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage appellations.

With a beautiful view on the Rhone river, the Domaine de La Haut overlooks the beautiful hillsides of this region.