Vignobles Alard

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Alfred Alard was born in 1865. Throughout his childhood, his father Jean instilled in him a passion for this vineyard, this clay-limestone soil so special because of its location on a hillside and its northern exposure, which favours the over-ripening of the grapes (development of «noble rot»). His meticulousness in working the vines and the wines was matched only by his subtlety of taste in blending the different batches of barrels and casks. In the end, the family’s passion for wine was to get the best out of the terroir.

However, the prosperity of Château Theulet was short-lived... Around 1880, phylloxera, a parasite inadvertently imported from the United States, attacked the roots of the vines and devastated the whole of France. The remedy of drowning the parasite could not be used on the slopes of Monbazillac. The entire vineyard of Château Theulet had to be uprooted and then replanted by grafting their vines onto phylloxera-resistant American plants. This technique was only used by the Bergerac vineyards in the Dordogne. The rest of the department converted to other crops.

Eager to be involved in the expansion of Chateau Theulet, Alfred travelled extensively, meeting, exchanging, observing, tasting and returning to his beloved estate with the aim of being involved in its expansion. His marriage to Lydie Poels, of Dutch nationality, coincided with the success of his Monbazillac trade with Holland.

However, phylloxera had been costly. At the same time, boosted by technical progress, the yields of these new vines were much higher than before the disease and pushed Alfred (and the other large estates) to produce more.

Average yields in the South West: Before 1850 = 15 to 17 hectolitre/hectare, from 1900 = 40 hectolitre/hectare

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