Château Pape Clement | Cecile Daquin
Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac, near Bordeaux, is named after its most famous owner: Pope Clement V. Bertrand de Goth, appointed Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299, received on this occasion the vineyards of La Mothe, property in Pessac. He managed the estate and made it bigger. Appointed in 1305 by the conclave to succeed Benedict XI, he became Pope under the name of Clement V. Because of his new position, he had then to give away the estate to the Archbishop of Bordeaux and took the name “Pape Clement”. From this day, the estate has been well managed, with continuity and quality for almost five centuries, its limited production being reserved mainly for the use of the archdiocese. By the French Revolution, the estate went in the public domain, with successful owners. Jean-Baptiste Clerc, who acquired Château Pape Clément in 1858 expanded the vineyard to 37 ha, and thanks to his bright management, strengthened the quality of wines which then come right behind the ones of Haut-Brion. At the end of the XIXth century, Château Pape Clement wines are sold at the same price as the 2nd Grands Crus Classés of Médoc.
On 8 June 1937, a violent hailstorm destroyed almost the whole of Château Pape Clément’s vineyard and, in 1939, it was bought by Paul Montagne, an agronomic engineer, who, when the war finished, set about restoring it and reinstating it to the status it deserved. Thanks to these efforts, Château Pape Clément regained its radiance and managed to resist the onset of urbanization and the development of housing in a village where, at the start of the century, there were only two thousand inhabitants and fifty winegrowers.
In the 1980s, Bernard Magrez, an entrepreneur passionate about wine, took over the Château and built an unprecedented international reputation for the Grand Cru Classé. Ever since, Bernard Magrez has deployed every means possible to ensure that Château Pape Clément’s exceptional terroir continues to flourish through time and to express the finesse that has made its wines so famous.