Family history !
Domaine Duveau was established in 1880 thanks to the dynamism of a woman Jeanne Helene Pasquier (1839-1893), who bought the Domaine des Roches Neuves near Saumur in the Loire Valley.
Totally ravaged by grape phylloxera, a disease which had already destroyed most of the vineyards in Europe at the time, the 7-hectares domain planted in Cabernet Franc was abandoned. Jeanne Hélène replanted it completely with appropriate rootstocks. The vineyard doubled its area. The business prospered, and in 1913, his son Denis Molay bought a steam tractor, one of the greatest technological advancements at the time. He was the first one who ploughed the farms mechanically in the region.
Unfortunately, the First World War (1914-1918) came soon. Men went to war and the vineyard was neglected again. Her daughter Hélène (1890-1981) was struggling in keeping the maintenance of the vineyards. Denis Duveau (1915-1992), her grandson, took over the vineyard later and renovated it. However, it was not until 1950 that the Domaine des Roches Neuves expanded really rapidly.
His son Denis (born 1948), graduated from the well-known Bordeaux School of Enology, became the owner in 1981. His teachers of the time, Emile Peynaud and Jean Ribéreau-Gayon, are indisputably the greatest scholars in the wine profession ever after Louis Pasteur.
He uprooted parts of the vineyards which were grown on inappropriate rootstocks, and from a strict selection of plants, he restored the 20-hectares vineyard in its best condition. The quality of wines was appreciated, and the media coverage came not long after. Being on the first pages in specialized wine magazines and on the tables of the greatest Parisian restaurants, Denis is the one who raises the reputation of a small Appellation Contrôlée (controlled designation) of the Loire Valley: Le Saumur Champigny.
The years 1989 and 1990 were his most marvelous vintages ever. During these two years, the best of the century, he obtained the famous Capus Medal (Gold Medal of the Region of Val de Loire).
But a man’s life is always full of high and low. At the night of 20th April 1991, the vineyard was entirely frozen. The spring temperature decreased to -7°C. The young buds burst. The crops were ruined. Denis decided to sell the Domaine des Roches Neuves. But then?
Emile Peynaud, consultant of a Chilean winery at the moment, advised Denis that Chile had the equal potentials as the Bordeaux vineyards. It should be noted that in 1991, Chile had no more than twenty wineries. Denis thus decided to emigrate. He left in 1992, with his wife Christine, and his two children Charlotte (born 1980) and Grégoire (born 1982).
At the beginning, he worked as a consultant for the large wineries in Chile, as well as Uruguay and Argentina. It was not until 2000 when he set up his own domain at the heart of Central Valley in Curico. Domaine Duveau Chile was born.
The Curico zone is one of the most famous regions in Chile, particularly for its aromatic richness of red wines. Denis decided to start by planting the grape variety which he thought to be the most adaptable to the terroir of the valley – Cabernet Sauvignon. The results were far beyond his expectations.
Soon after the other French grape varieties like Merlot, Carménère, as well as Chardonnay were also integrated in the vineyard. Its closeness to the Pacific Ocean makes him capable of producing powerful yet aromatic and well-balanced red wines.
Domaine Duveau received a significant success. This is why Mr. Denis Duveau decided to purchase more land, and plant other vines in order to satisfy the growing demand of his clients. The reputation of wines of the Duveau family is raised essentially thanks to the exportations to Europe, notably to France where Mr. Duveau has received remarkable reputation.
His son Grégoire, an enologist as well, took over the domain in 2006, and decided to expand the wine range to adapt better to the demand of the global market. In the following years he has planted grape varieties like Syrah, Pinot Noir, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. New wines emerged, like “The Premium”, and have soon been remarkably successful among the wine connoisseurs in Europe.
Domaine Duveau has always been searching for innovations to meet its clients’ demand yet keeping the winemaking traditions which have rooted in the family for 5 generations.