Maison Blanche is a very beautiful 40 hectare estate located in the southwest of the Montagne Saint-Émilion appellation, in the horn in which is just out between Lalande-de-Pomerol, to the north, and Saint-Émilion, to the south.
In the succession of Louis Rapin settled in 1972, his daughter Françoise collected the 40 hectares of Maison Blanche, including 26 of vineyards, two hectares of Saint-Émilion vines dismembered from La Tour Figeac and the small property of La Rose Figeac in Pomerol. Her husband Gérard Despagne, from a long line of farmers from eastern Libourne and owner-winemakers in Saint-Émilion since 1812, has all the skills to exploit these assets. She entrusts him with the management and direction.Nathalie and Nicolas joined the family vineyards in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
They were associated with the management of the operation until 2003, when they became the majority and Nicolas co-manager.
Its Cabernet Franc and Merlot vines (around 60/40), with an average age of over 45 years, were planted on 32 hectares of the slopes and plateau of the estate. The land of Maison Blanche is made up of clays with traces of limestone and iron dross. Since 2001, soil life and plant immunity have been stimulated by biodynamic sprays.
Almost in its center, a large 19th century house in white stone from Poitou, in the heart of a park, commands a group of buildings housing a battery of traditional vats, one of the largest barrel cellars in Libourne and an underground cellar of old vintages.
All grapes grown at Maison Blanche have been certified organic (AB, then Euro-Bio from 2012) since the 2009 vintage, bio-dynamic since 2013 (Demeter). They are harvested ripe; neither green (they give acidic wines with vegetal tastes which were among the main defects of the bad wines of the past) nor overripe (they give jammy wines, sensitive to deviations and not lasting over time, which are the defects of " good » modern wines). On historic terroirs (26 hectares), harvesting is done by hand, in small bins or crates . On small terroirs (6 hectares) all or part can be harvested by machine... or not: in 2014, the entire estate was harvested by hand.