The history of Les Freres Couillaud begin in 1978 when they buy the Chateau de la Ragotiere. Crazy idea at that time but so much at their own image: bold and determinated. The story of a family and a place.
Le Château de La Ragotière
The Chateau de la Ragotiere is the former home of the noble family Lore de la Ragotiere, who settled here in the fourteenth century. The founder of this line was comrade in arms of Bertrand Du Guesclin. The castle was destroyed during the French Revolution. This noble family remained owner of the domain until the nineteenth century.
Part of the castle moat, retained from the middle ages, along with antique gates and the ancient chapel have been restored and the chapel now serves as an intimate tasting room.
A variety of vines were planted on the estate and today the hillside vineyards produces many ageworthy wines. Our cellar is a precious inheritance where our rich history meets the present day with heirloom vintages dating back to 1947.
The Three Brothers
Bernard, Michel and François were born in a family of winemakers based in Mouzillon for over 150 years. Auguste Couillaud, their grandfather, a pioneer in the early century had nearly 20 hectares vineyards. Leon, the father develops the renown of Clos Burgundians, one of the oldest plots of the Muscadet.
In the early 1970s, Bernard traveled through the United States and Mexico, and returned with the high ambition of sharing Muscadet in a worldwide market. While he was working with his father, he decided to start hand-selling wine by the bottle, a novel conception for the time. His brothers, Michel and François, were also interested in vineyard management and wine production methods and they decided to purchase Chateau de la Ragotiere in 1978. The Couillaud Brothers’wine adventure began with major restoration projects in both the winery and vineyards to completely rehabilitate the property. Today, we are proud to say that Bernard’s initial dream of sharing Muscadet with other countries has been very successful, as our Muscadet may now be found in Great Britain, the USA and Japan.
In 1987, we expanded our vineyards with the purchase of a 30-hectare vineyard, Chateau de la Moriniere, 3km from Ragotiere. This prestigious property was designated as the place to experiment with a new regional variety: Chardonnay. As a newcomer to the Muscadet Appellation, Chardonnay, made in the Burgundian style, is celebrated and enjoyed for its evocative style and complex character.
With the success of Chardonnay, the Couillaud Brothers decided to experiment with an innovative blend of Melon de Bourgogne and Chardonnay. In 1997, after three years of research, an experimental vineyard was planted to cultivate unique grape varieties in the Loire Valley such as Viognier, Petit Manseng and Muscat Petit Grain.
Amelie and Vincent
THE SEVENTH GENERATION
In 2006, Bernard, Michel and François welcomed the new generation: Amelie, daughter of Bernard and her husband Vincent, both passionate about wine. Amelie, who is graduate in business and languages, handles exports; while Vincent, an agricultural engineer, is in charge of the vineyard.
François Couillaud, the youngest of the brothers, works with Amelie and Vincent, this new generation brings innovative projects with environmentally friendly alternatives to the cultivation of the vine and creation of a new cellar.
In November 2013, Amelie won the National Trophy of the Women of the Economy saluting her work for the commercial development in 11 new contries. Les Femmes de l’Economie
Les Frères Couillaud
La Grande Ragotière
44330 La Regrippière - France
Tél : +332 40 33 60 56
Fax : +332 40 33 61 89
Monday to Friday
from 09:00 am to noon and from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Saturday from 10am to 1pm
Closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday