Genuine values, passed down from generation to generation
In 1962, Paul Gonfrier moved with his wife to Lestiac-sur-Garonne, in Gironde, after leaving his native Algeria, bringing with him only his boundless energy and his love of working the land. He bought the Château de Marsan, in ruins at the time, but surrounded by promising terroirs. He began the adventure with three hectares of grapes. He then developed the property’s arboricultural activity, with the help of the entire family.
His three sons became actively involved in the estate and in local life. Pierre, the eldest, was elected mayor of the local municipality, Philippe became involved from a very early age in running the property, and Eric carried out his first vinification in 1985 at the age of 23 and founded the company with Philippe – all while continuing to work alongside their father.At the time, the Château de Marsan comprised 30 hectares of vineyard and 50 hectares of apple orchard.Starting in 1986, Eric and Philippe set themselves the goal of planting 15 additional hectares of grapevines each year during 5 years. They continued to collaborate with their father, while seeing to the growth of their own activity.
From the start, their objective has been excellence: each variety of grape is carefully selected so as to best express each plot's special characteristics. The specific vinification techniques employed, out among the vines and in the cellar, always seek to allow the terroir to express its finest qualities.
The recognition of the exceptional quality of the wines crafted by Eric and Philippe Gonfrier allowed the brothers to invest in the purchase of additional vineyards to further refine their blends.
In 1998, Paul Gonfrier retired, whereupon Eric and Philippe grouped together all of their activities to form a single entity: "Vignobles Gonfrier".
Today, while the Vignobles Gonfrier vinify over 1,000 hectares thanks to their state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, the estate still goes out of its way to favour top-quality wines. Especially sensitive to and respectful of the concept of terroir, the two brothers consider that wine-making techniques serve first and foremost to ensure the wine's quality and the clients' satisfaction.
In 2014, Paul Gonfrier passed away. He left his indelible mark on the company, passing the baton to the third generation. Thibault, Philippe’s son, has joined the company and expends great effort taking care of the well-maintained vineyards, ever in an environmentally respectful manner.Audrey, his sister, joined the company in 2018, following her successful time spent at a Bordeaux wine merchant, and will oversee maintaining the firm’s proven financial strategy, in close collaboration with the in-house staff. Éric’s three children – Caroline, Guillaume and Paul – are just finishing up their engineering and business management studies. They too are integrating the family firm and are keen to ensure the continued success of the Vignobles Gonfrier, making the most of the past generations’ accumulated experience and expertise, while also implementing new modern skills and knowledge.
The Château de Marsan remains the company’s headquarters.