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The Winery

The wine making process

Since 1870, Milhard family have been producing his wine in its own winery.
The colors and the blending of the wines have changed during the past few decades but the wine making methods are still the same.
Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sémillon are vinified with the same ancestral methods, respectufully regarding the nature and the grapes in order to produce a unique wine for ageing.

Red wines

At Château Vieux Mougnac, the wines reflect the vintage, that is to say the result of the balance between “terroir” and climate. It all starts in September in the vines when the Merlot and Cabernet Franc berries are tasted plot by plot by the Milhard family in order to determine the date of the harvest which will be spread over 3 weeks between September and October.

After the harvest, the grapes are slightly crushed and the bunches are removed before being placed in concrete tanks. This is followed by maceration which lasts between 3 and 4 weeks during which the color, tannins and aromas will be extracted from the berries. During this period, pumping-over is carried out regularly to help this extraction. In order to respect the family traditions and with the aim to work in accordance with the nature, no yeast or other additives are added to start the fermentation. It is during these few weeks that the future quality of the wine will play out.

Therefore, the free run wine is separated from the solid part which is pressed to recover the nectar from Château Vieux Mougnac. Indeed, the press wine contains all the tannins and the structure necessary for the production of an exceptional wine for aging. The wines are then aged in these concrete vats for 2 winters during which the Milhard family will use their ancestral know-how to clarify and blend them. It is by following the cycle of the moon that the wines are racked to be clarified then tasted and blended to obtain a wine with 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.

After these 2 years of aging, bottling like all the previous stages, is carried out by the Milhard family. Finally, the wine is stored in bottles in the winecellar of the Château for 3 more years to give you a great wine for ageing.

The creation of the “Cuvée”

In memory of all the members of the Milhard Family, Sylvie & Michel the 4th generation of wine-growers have decided to create an exceptional Cuvée when they have a great vintage.

This wine is produced from a single plot of 80 year old Merlot, the oldest in the vineyard. First, aged for a year in concrete tank, it is then aged in 7 to 10 new French oak barrels for 10 months. Created only in the best years, this wine with great aromatic power is sublimated by the oak barrel and its subtle aromas of vanilla and roasted cocoa. This small Cuvée reveals the perfect expression of the Grand Saint-Emilionnais “terroir” mixed with the ancestral know-how of the Milhard family.

Cuvée Maria 2009 and Cuvée Michel 2010 are essential examples of this work and precious treasures for Château Vieux Mougnac.
On the one hand, Cuvée Maria 2009 was created in honor of Maria Milhard, 3rd generation, who dedicated her life to the development of the Estate by launching the sale of wine in bottles in the 1960’s. On the other hand, Cuvée Michel 2010 has just been launched to thank Michel Bessard, 4th generation, for his dedication to Château Vieux Mougnac and his incredible work in the vineyard and in the winery for almost 10 years.

The white wines

Château Vieux Mougnac has produced 100% Sémillon white wines, an old Bordeaux grape variety, since 1945. In order to respect the vintage, the type of wine changes from year to year. If August is cool and rainy, the Milhard family picks up the grapes with a touch of acidity in mid-September and produces a dry white wine; whereas if the summer is hot, the harvest takes place in mid-October with berries slightly candied by noble rot to make a sweet white wine.

The dry white wine

After the harvest, the berries are directly pressed and the juice is placed in the smallest tank of the winery. The Milhard family carries out a cold settling for a week to bring down the remains of skin and seeds at the bottom. Then a racking is carried out to leave only the lightest and most aromatic lees in contact with the wine for 6 months before being bottled.

The sweet white wine

The production of sweet wine is similar of the dry white wine. First of all, the grapes are pressed and then put in the smallest vat in the winery before settling. The big difference is that you have to stop the fermentation earlier to keep the sugar necessary for sweet wine. Once this delicate stage has been completed, it must be racked before allowing the wine to age for 6 months like dry white wine.

We are proud to be “Vignerons Indépendants” !

Since 1870, we have always done everything to keep an artisanal work by offering you a wine produced from the beginning to the end at Château Vieux Mougnac.
As a result, our family joined the Union of the “Vignerons Indépendants” in 2010! This logo affixed to our capsules guarantees that we cultivate the vine, harvest our grapes, vinify and age our wines, bottle our production at the Château and market our products in accordance with traditions.