Our winemakers

Visiting Château de Jau

We visited one of our favourite estates in the East Pyrenees to talk to one of the winemakers, Simon Dauré.

By Christabel Brain
2017/05/21, 11:22 AM

An Interview with Simon Dauré

Can you tell us about the history of the Château built in the XIIth century?

Cistercian monks of the Abbey of Jau created this property in the 12th century. They started working with vines and breeding silkworms when they were here. Over the centuries, the Château de Jau has changed hands several times. In the mid 1970’s the Dauré family bought the estate. If you look around, you’ll see that various buildings reflect the different periods, from the tower that was erected in the 12th century, to the castle which was built in the 19th century.

How would you describe the atmosphere of the Chateau?

Mediterranean atmosphere with some Tuscan touches. A lot of contrast with the violence of the Tramontane winds and the peacefulness of the summer evenings.

One of your favourite memories?

Relaxing and tasting a good Rosé close to the pond, under a tricentennial blackberry bush.

The winery is a family venture, tell us a bit more about that!

The story starts with two brothers (Bernard and Jean Dauré) who dreamed of producing their own wine. Through this estate, they embarked on a large modernization process to improve the planting, storing and making of the wines. They were pioneers in wine tourism, creating a contemporary art foundation which exhibits every summer. They also created the first ever wine restaurant. Today, it is their children who run the estate.

For you, what is the most beautiful thing in the world of wine?

It is a noble profession around an eminently cultural product. It is a story of men who tell the story of a particular time and place. The beauty is that generations have been able to turn this passion and love for the land into a profession.

You also have a restaurant, can you tell us more?

We were among the first to create a wine restaurant. It is a unique menu of Catalan and grilled produce. It is a magical place in a setting that inspires peace.

Where is the most magical place around the Château?

The foothills of the Corbières offer sumptuous landscapes to walkers who can discover a few steps from Jau Cathar castles of Quéribus and Peyrepertuse.

What surprises does the future hold for your visitors?

We’d never say never about opening up a hotel in the future!

Our selection of wines from the Château de Jau