“In 2019, the benchmark year before Covid, some 700,000 people passed through our doors, 60,000 of whom made a purchase. » Installed in the…
“In 2019, the benchmark year before Covid, some 700,000 people passed through our doors, 60,000 of whom made a purchase. Installed in the room that hosts weddings – up to 140 people seated – and business seminars – with state-of-the-art audio equipment – Stanislas Cattiau does not hide his pleasure. “We should do as well this year. Let’s go for. At 37, and with a solid academic background, this Périgourdin has worked at Les Cordeliers – with his wife Pauline – since 2009 and has been running the place since 2013.
It was his father-in-law Jean-Paul Calès, founder of Cap Ingelec, a Bordeaux champion of electrical engineering (400 employees), who then acquired this historic monument in a state of disrepair. A church without a roof, a cloister buried in ivy, a garden invaded by brambles. Today, after years of work, the change is total. Moreover, at the entrance, a fresco with “before/after” photos sets the tone for visitors.
The shop offers local products and souvenirs but above all the crémants of the house
The cloister encourages meditation, the garden (2,000 m²) accommodates tables and chairs, and the 15th century churche century has regained a roof and its splendour. The stained glass windows, of all colors, tell its story. But here, there is no longer any altar or kneeler, but a vast shop (250 m²) with its tasting room upstairs. They offer local products and souvenirs, but above all the crémants of the house. Because the Cordeliers are also a wine company.
While the weather is fine and tourists stroll between the old stones – access is free seven days a week – Stanislas Cattiau takes a big key then opens a gate which gives access, 15 meters below, to these quarries if numerous in Saint-Émilion (1). The house has 3 km of it, where 150,000 bottles of crémant age gently, for an average of five years (2).
Ice cream and DJ
The wine is vinified by suppliers in Entre-deux-Mers and then arrives here – only for the top-of-the-range categories – to be bottled. After a second fermentation in the bottle carried out on site, the bottles will be sent to a factory located in Blayais (Brouette Jaillance) for the final stages of development. “More than half of the bottles produced here are sold on site. Our wine tourism site is at the service of crémant”, recalls the director (3)
Return to the open air to see a bar installed in the courtyard – “we have just obtained the IV license to sell alcohol, specifies Stanislas Cattiau” – and even an ice cream parlor which serves cones in bursts. For a romantic and timeless moment, at the foot of the cloister or on the grass, some enjoy a picnic. The most revelers will even meet on Fridays and Saturdays for evening concerts. The DJs and the music above, the bottles of crémant and the silence below.
(1) The stones were extracted there to build houses, especially in Bordeaux.
(2) Depending on the format, tasting tours, which can also be done by tuk-tuk, cost between 11 and 25 euros.
(1) The Cordeliers range includes around ten references, from 7.8 euros a bottle.