Château Relais de La Poste is independently owned and operated by the Drode family. The actual Château of Relais de la Poste was originally a grand inn and carriage house built in 1758 on France’s Royal Road outside the town of Teuillac in what is now the Côtes de Bourg. The constant comings and goings of guests, horses and mail gave the Château its eventual namesake. The Romans were the first to plant vines here, and winemaking has always been a part of the Château’s existence. Historically, all the production was sold in bulk, and its potential was not realized until 1985 when Bruno Drode purchased the Château and its 50 acres of surrounding vineyards. He updated the winery and set out on improving the vineyards. Most of the estate is planted with Merlot, but Bruno realized the great potential for Malbec in this spot, and his two 100% Malbec Cuvées are what put this exciting, forward-thinking Château on the map.
The vineyards at Château Relais de La Poste are sustainably farmed and essentially organic, though no certification has been acquired. Organic supplements to combat mildew and other issues are used sparingly. The vines are fertilized naturally using a technique called green manuring. Hairy vetch peas and forest oats are planted around the vines as cover crops. These are grown to maturity, left to wither naturally, and finally turned into the soil. The oats are rich in cellulose and lignin and provide slow carbon. The peas fix nitrogen from the air and restore it to the soil. This effort – and Relais de La Poste’s favorable location – are critical for Malbec which is particularly susceptible to mildew in Bordeaux. This is the sunniest and driest part of the Côtes de Bourg with just the right proximity to the Gironde estuary. These factors allow the estate to showcase Malbec as a 100% varietal wine, and not just a small blending component. The Cuvée Malbec is produced by natural, ambient yeast fermentation in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel vats. It is aged for seven months in a mix of small concrete vats (75%) and barrique (25%).