Valmengaux is run by Béatrice and Vincent Rapin who come from Bordeaux. Valmengaux is a small family winery that produces two wines. They have plots north of Fronsac in the Bordeaux appellation and in St. Emilion. The winery has been run on organic principles since 2004 and they received organic certification in 2009.
Before his career in wine Vincent used to be a jazz bass player and he is the founder of the popular Tous en Scène music school. Beatrice worked as an interior architect. In 1998 the couple settled in St. Emilion and learned winemaking on the family winery of Ferrand Lartigue. In 2000 the couple bought 2 ha of vineyards and Valmengaux was born. The winery gets its name from the couple’s children: VALentin, CleMENtine and MarGAUX.
Valmengaux has altogether 6,5 hectares of vineyards. The eponymous wine comes from Valmengaux’s 5,2 hectare vineyard north of Fronsac. The soils are clay and limestone. The vineyard has 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and the average age of the vines is 60 years.
In 2007 Ferrand Lartigue’s property was sold and the Rapins bought the 1,2 hectare Dame de Onze Heures plot which belongs in the precious St. Emilion Grand Cru. The soils are sandy clay. The vineyard is planted to 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are around 40 years old. Dame de Onze Heures is the flower Ornithogalum umbellatum, sometimes called the eleven-o'clock lady. The name refers to the plant opening its flowers at 11 o’clock in the vineyards.
Work at the vineyards is largely done by hand. Wild yeasts are used in fermentation and the wines are aged in barriques and foudres. Oenologist Theirry Jouan consults for Béatrice and Vincent.