Vignobles Dorneau (Château Lacroix) - Fronsac
Since 1991, you have been in charge of three vineyards. What makes them special? The property was bought in 1870 by a great-aunt. Four generations have looked after the estate, which grew in 1960 with the purchase of Château Lacroix, then again with the vines of Château Roullet and finally once more with Château Pontus. Lacroix and Pontus are from the Fronsac appellation, Roullet qualifies as Canon-fronsac. These wines are well-balanced, with a large proportion of merlot. The sandy earth and calcareous soil make fullbodied and fruity wines, but ones which have a certain structure too.
Why did you choose to start producing truffles?
As someone who loves food, I’ve always been fascinated by truffles and their secrets. The president of the Gironde society for truffle growers, who is both a neighbour and a friend, asked me one day when we were going for a walk why I hadn’t tried planting downy oaks in the sandy and calcareous soil, which is perfect for truffles’ growth. Now, we have no less than 250 of these trees!
How do you share your passion for wine and truffles with your visitors?
We show them the wine cellar and do a tasting with some of our wines (to be booked in advance). We have also created some unique truffle-based options. Visitors can stroll through not just vineyards, but also among the truffle-growing oaks, where there is a monolithic chapel from the 12th century. Once they return, they taste some wine with some trufflebased food. In doing so, we show them how to make the very most of this exceptional culinary product.
Patrick Dorneau manages three châteaux in Fronsac and Canon-fronsac, overlooking Libourne and the outlying vineyards of Saint-émilion. He loves sharing his passion for wine and truffles with visitors.