Nestled in the Gassac valley between the villages of Gignac and Aniane is the beautiful property of Château Capion. Very close by is the medieval village of Saint Guilhem Le Desert. Discovery of old manuscripts confirms Château Capion dates back to the 16th century. We know in 1873 the property was owned by a Monsieur Louis Keittinger. During this period Monsieur Keittinger built "massive cellars" and erected "outbuildings". In 1888 Cardinal Monseigneur du Cabrieres, an old friend of Keittinger, consecrated the adjoining chapel which is still used by the Buhrer family today.
The Buhrer family from Switzerland acquired the property in 1996. Over the following ten years many of the vines were replanted and new vineyards established. The cellar was extended and the old cellar renovation and modernised with the installation of state-of-the-art wine making facilities and equipment. The Château itself was completely renovated and restored to its former glory. Much loved and cared for, the Château is the private residence of the Buhrer family.
The domaine covers 75 hectares of which over half is vineyard. Here at Capion you will find Chardonnay, Rousanne and Viognier. More than 80% of the production is ultra-premium red wine crafted from traditional Languedoc varietals - Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre and Cinsault. The Bordeaux varietals planted at Capion include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The vineyards are bordered by the Gassac river and natural forest know locally as the "garrigue".
The Buhrer's bring their own unique style to Capion which reflects their respect for tradition, interest in history, philosophy and horticulture. The extensive restoration was completed with local materials and in-keeping with the local architecture. Interesting features have been added including the "le colombier" (dovecot) which is now the emblem for Château Capion. Throughout history, the snow white dove has symbolised love, peace, hope and the presence of the Holy Spirit - so very much in keeping with what Château Capion and our wines represent.
Presently some 48ha are planted to vines. Interestingly, when phylloxera destroyed virtually every vine in France in the late 1800’s, resistant American rootstocks were grafted onto the remaining Château Capion cuttings. Each of the current 11 varietals grown has been carefully located on particular locations most suited to them. This choice allows winemaker, Frédéric Kast, exceptional latitude in the winemaking process. The planting density is 3 600 vines per hectare, with a yield of 4-8 tons. All the vineyards are trellised and pruned to the Guyot style. No irrigation is applied and the rainfall varies from 400mm to 1000mm per annum – occurring mainly in late autumn.
Having naturally high calcium content, the soils require virtually no fertilizer. Only eco-friendly viticulture practices are used – natural manure (guano) is the only supplement – if required. Prescribed vineyard practices ensure that no natural yeast cultures are destroyed, as these are essential for the vinification of the traditional blends. The soil is ploughed three or four times annually, but no later than July.
Discovering Wines of France
By Joathan Healey
Recommends, "the top red Le Juge and [white] Le Sorbier."
Guide Parker des vins de France
Robert Parker with Pierre-Antoine Rovani
Rates Domaine Capion as "Excellent."
The New France
By Andrew Jefford
100 Great Wines
Recommends as, "most worthwhile is the Syrah-Grenache blend Le Juge."