Saint Emilion - Chateau Pavie
Château Pavie is a winery in Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux region of France.
Like other vineyards in Saint-Émilion such as Château Ausone, the Pavie vineyard dates back to Roman times. It takes its name from the orchards of peaches ("pavies") that used to stand there. The modern estate was assembled by Ferdinand Bouffard in the late 19th century by buying plots from several families.
The plots were still managed separately, and the 9 hectares bought from the Pigasse family retained a separate identity as Château Pavie-Decesse. However Bouffard struggled with phylloxera, and at the end of World War I he sold it to Albert Porte, who sold it to Alexandre Valette in 1943. His grandson Jean-Paul Valette sold it to Gérard Perse in 1998 for $31 million.
Perse is a Parisian millionaire and former cyclist who sold two supermarket chains to fund his entry into the wine business. He bought Château Monbousquet in 1993, Château Pavie-Decesse in 1997, and Pavie in 1998. He ripped out most of the old equipment, building new temperature-controlled wooden fermentation vats, a new cellar, and a new irrigation system in the vineyard.
He brought in the controversial wine consultant Michel Rolland, who has seen yields cut from 55 hl/ha to 30 hl/ha with severe pruning and green-harvesting and encouraged malolactic fermentation in the wine. The result has seen the wine become much more concentrated and intense. In 2012, Pavie was elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status, which made it one of four such Saint-Émilion producers.
The 42 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Chateau Pavie is planted to 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. This represents a change in the vineyard with less Merlot and more Cabernet Franc. In addition to replanting, trellis wires throughout the vineyard were raised in order to increase the vines’ foliage.
The Chateau Pavie vineyard is farmed using sustainable, vineyard management techniques. Part of the goal at Chateau Pavie is to produce wine from ripe grapes and low yields. 70% of the vineyard is farmed using organic methods. It is the goal of the estate to become 100% organic. There is a second wine, Aromes de Pavie. Chateau Pavie produces 8,000 cases of wine per year.