According to etymologists, the name Pomerol comes from an ancient word meaning “fruit with seeds” and then “orchard” in Gallo-Roman times. The Romans introduced winegrowing here. The Knights Hospitaller maintained the tradition, and established a commandery in Pomerol. Later on, pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela found not only a place to stay in Pomerol, but also generous, comforting wines. The Pomerol appellation d’origine contrôlée was officially created on the 8th of December 1936 in a decree signed by President Albert Lebrun and Minister of Agriculture Georges Monnet.
Mainly planted with Merlot vines, and located on the border between the outstanding terroirs of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, in the hamlet of Maillet, Château Le Bon Pasteur was created by Joseph and Hermine Dupuy. The estate name has been chosen on the Sunday after Easter – according to bible – le dimanche du Bon Pasteur. (The Sunday of good shepherd)
The fate of Le Bon Pasteur is then closely connected to Michel Rolland who represents the spirit of the château for 40 years. Michel Rolland was born in 1947 on the edge of the Pomerol appellation. Steeped in nature, he spent his childhood and teenage years on the family property, Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol-Maillet. Perhaps this explains his love for the land in general and in particular for the vine.
After technical studies at schools of agriculture and viticulture, he was accepted into the Faculty of Oenology in Bordeaux. It’s then – in 1968 – that he met Dany, who was to become his wife. From that point forward, they stayed by one another’s side and pursued their career together.
In 1973, the couple associate with the owners of a lab in Libourne and that is where it all began. At the time, oenologists were more office practitioners than field professionals!
This was the time of modern wine’s infancy… Michel Rolland crisscrossed the region visiting the properties.
When his father Serge Rolland died in 1979, he took over, with his mother, the management of the homestead while he continued his work at the laboratory.
It is precisely in this family property he developed the recipes and techniques that have made it successful: search for the optimal maturity of the grapes, green harvesting, plot selections, sorting the grapes before and after destemming, whole grape vinification, pigeage extraction, use small tanks from 15-70 hectoliters, equipped with a thermal control system since 1987. An innovation in the appellation.
Every step has been considered and adopted from the vineyard to the bottling, everything has been designed to preserve the rich complexity of the different plots of Le Bon Pasteur.
Then in 1985, destiny knocked on his door: he was asked by some producers in California to study with them ways to maximize the potential of the region’s wines. His natural curiosity and his desire to expand his knowledge would outline his destiny…
This was the beginning of a life that would take him over four continents, to more than 150 properties in a dozen different countries. It will be a journey marked by extraordinary events, with different cultures, latitudes and, climates. An extraordinary professional and personal adventure!
Of course, Dany was here to manage the laboratory and the properties.
Thanks to the know-how of experienced winemakers, Dany and Michel Rolland, Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol is an excellent wine unanimously praised by critics worldwide.
Goldin Group has acquired Château Le Bon Pasteur in June 2013. Chairman Mr. Sutong Pan, felt it important to retain the same staff and to leave winemaking to Dany and Michel Rolland.
Life is full of chance meetings… I was a consultant to Mr Pan at his small Napa Valley winery, SLOAN ESTATE, and we took the time to get to know each another. I soon understand Mr Pan’s priorities. He is a great wine enthusiast, a collector of fine wine, and a businessman who knows exactly what he wants. So we soon came to an agreement about the basics. Although he has become the owner of Château Le Bon Pasteur, I remain in charge of the winemaking team, and we are both determined to improve all aspects of this truly extraordinary estate.
Since 2013, in order to continue the quest for excellence, our team have undertaken some restructuring of the vineyards, we select rigorously grapes in the cellar. The vintage 2013 gave birth to our second wine L’Étoile de Bon Pasteur. An undergoing renovation project will offer Château Le Bon Pasteur the technical means to follow its ambitions:
« The group’s vision is clear, quality first, we aimed to produce one of the greatest wine in Pomerol. »