Trinité Estate - Acaibo
Sonoma County region
True passion in the world of wines is still alive within the cellars of Trinité Estate
The origins of Trinité Estate can be traced back to the hallowed City of Bordeaux, home to some of the greatest wines in the world. When Claire Villars and Gonzague Lurton married more than 20 years ago, a modern wine dynasty was formed that eventually led to the establishment of Trinité Estate in the Chalk Hill section of Sonoma County.
Before leaving Bordeaux, it is necessary to point out the couple currently own and operate no less than four classified Châteaux, a rarity among Bordeaux-wine owning gentry in this day and age, as well as a number of additional châteaux on the international market. Of the four classifieds, Château Dufort-Viviens (2er) and Château Haut Bages Liberal (5er) are the best known with the later being regarded as one of the top 5th Growths of the 1855 Classification as well as one of its best values.
The Lurton’s most impressive legacy might well be that three of their châteaux are among the six Bordeaux châteaux that possess certified biodynamic vineyard status, a relative rarity in the exalted French wine region. The remaining Lurton family (brothers and sisters) own more than 30 châteaux around Bordeaux as well as properties in Spain, Portugal, Australia, Argentina and Chile. The massive Lurton family is arguably the largest and most important (in terms of ownership and quality) family in the entire French wine industry.
The family’s American odyssey started back in 1992 when Lucien Lurton summoned his son Gonzague to Sonoma County with the prospect that he had found a location in Northern California that he felt capable of producing wines comparable to the finest found in Bordeaux. Interestingly, Lucien Lurton chose the Chalk Hill section of Sonoma County over its better-known rival of Napa Valley. Take into account that this occurred almost 30 years ago and you have the makings of a Hollywood script. In 2012, Lucien’s son Gonzague and his wife Claire acquired the 24-acre estate in the Chalk Hill growing area and named it Trinité Estate.
“We had never worked together,” explained Gonzague Lurton. “We felt it was time to have a common project unlike our Bordeaux châteaux that are run individually. My father thought this part of Sonoma was an excellent location to complement our Bordeaux varietals and we finally found the perfect spot for our winery in 2012.”
Fast forward to today, and the 24-acre property that is Trinité Estate is the producer of numerous world-class wines. It, too, is certified biodynamic, one of the pet undertakings of the Lurtons. The property is perfectly located between the cool Russian River at the west, the warm Alexander Valley at the northeast and the Knights Valley to the east. The altitude is around 750 feet and the vineyards of Trinité Estate are heavily sloped and planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the mainstays of Bordeaux’s wine-growing industry. All vineyards have southern and southwestern exposure and are planted vertically to help control erosion and are joined by cover crops that add to the sustainability of the Trinité Estate property.
Claire Lurton also remarked, “California is a great place to produce great Cabernet. It has perfect conditions for Cabernet to ripen with complexity. It’s easier to make wine here, and you never have rain (in the summer).”
Gonzague added, “Here, the fruit is really bright, something we don’t have in Bordeaux.” He further defined bright as “fresh, lively or flashy.”
Do they intend to eventually sell Trinité Estate in France? “No,” answered Claire Lurton. “Our plan is to focus on the U.S., Canada, England, China and Japan.”
“France is the last place we will sell,” her husband echoed. “The French, they drink French wine and we enjoy a great reputation with our collection of châteaux. We will leave it at that.”
Trinité Estate is a valuable asset to California’s outstanding selection of boutique wineries. Its owners’ dedication to sustainable farming practices shows the operation is on the cutting edge of wine technology and could become a model for future growers and wineries.
The fact that a top tier French wine couple opted to choose a Sonoma County site for their new winery also adds to California and the United States’ ever widening repute among the world’s truly great wine producing areas.
True passion in the world of wines is still alive within the cellars of Trinité Estate in the persons of Claire and Gonzague Lurton. It is with great pleasure that we offer our Platinum Wine Club members this intriguing selection from Trinité Estate. A votre sante!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
As a couple, our relationship started and blossomed as we respectively took control of our family properties in Bordeaux. And while we learned the ins and outs of the wine industry together, our properties were always managed and operated quite separately over the years.
But, we had a desire to create something special together, much like we did with our own children. And so, with an insatiable taste for adventure, we have built something special in a land that was recently foreign, but now we call home.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you into the world of Trinité Estate and the wine we lovingly call ‘Acaibo;’ the fruits of our labor and the gifts of our vines. This wine is a proud blend of our French traditions and our American adventure, and is composed of the three most prolific Bordeaux grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. We hope that you will enjoy a glass of our wine, steeped in elegance and with an air of sophistication, with family and friends, and be transported to our family dinner table here in the heart of Chalk Hill.
Claire and Gonzague Lurton