As a young man Joseph Stanislas Gruaud was the owner of the Ténac, Sartaignac and Merle Crus in the 18th century. He united them in 1757 under the name of “Fonbedeau”, also called « Gruaud ». A legend was born…
He died in 1771 and left the property that he had looked so well after to Monsieur de Larose. In 1781, the name of the new owner was added to that of its predecessor. The Cru then became «Gruaud Larose”.
On November 28th 1795, Monsieur de Larose died. Messrs Balguerie, Sarget and Verdonnet became the new owners. In 1865, the undivided estate was shared between the heirs Balguerie and Sarget. This generated two crus: Gruaud Larose-Bethmann and Gruaud Larose-Sarget.
In 1917, Désiré Cordier bought the Sarget family's share. Then, several years before the start of the Second World War, he also acquired the Bethmann family’s share. On November 8th 1935, Désiré Cordier, owner of Gruaud Larose-Sarget, took the opportunity to unite the estate by buying Gruaud Larose-Faure. Thus reconstituted, the estate covered 137 hectares whereof 68 under vines.
The Suez Company bought the Cordier empire in 1983 and became de facto owner of Gruaud Larose.
Ten years later, in 1993, Gruaud Larose was sold to the industrial group Alcatel-Alsthom.
In 1997, the Merlaut family, already owners of several Medoc cru estates, bought Gruaud Larose.
Gruaud Larose has always tried to give value to the role of man in the creation of its elixir; both to his work and to the bond established with the vineyard. The vine stocks and the grapes are nothing without man, without these makers of crus, from the most modest to the most powerful.
Since its creation, four families have succeeded one another at the head of Gruaud Larose: the Gruaud and Larose families, the Balguerie and Sarget families, the Cordier family and the Merlaut family.
In this way, in modern history, Désiré Cordier, mayor of the Saint-Julien village, passed the torch to his son, Jean, in October 1940.
In the same way, Jacques Merlaut entrusted Gruaud Larose to his son, Jean.
This family attachment has been passed on to the employees who often work at the chateau from father to son and from mother to daughter.
“Wine is the son of the sun and the earth but was delivered by hard work.”
Paul Claudel, French writer (1868-1955)
Today's Acts bear tomorrow's Fruits
To respect the meaning of life is to simply respect life. The owner, Jean Merlaut, strives every day to make this Grand Cru Classé the most natural expression of wine. By using organic methods to protect and defend the grape vines (organic compost, waste water treatment ...) Gruaud Larose was one of the first chateaux to ban insecticides, pesticides and herbicides in the vineyard and to have recourse to manual or mechanical interventions as a replacement for chemical treatments.
Today's acts bear tomorrow's fruit. Each artisan of the fragile vine is an actor in the viticultural heritage of his region, his appellation and his estate.
His close relationship with nature and climate makes him one of the last agricultural observers.