Since 40 years, the Lapalu family has been developing its wine-making activity, keeping the constant will to create authentic wines. Nowadays, the different vineyards spread over 220 hectars of vines. They produce and sell about 1 500 000 bottles in thirty countries all over the world.
Jean Michel Lapalu, owner and winemaker, quiet and self assured, went on to describe how his family settled in France. “I spent the first 10 years of my life in Tunisia on the farm created by my father’s grandfather Leon Lapalu around the year 1900. Leon Lapalu’s family, farmers by tradition, came from Villefranche de Lauragais, a village between Toulouse and Carcassonne. My maternal great-grandfather had planted a vineyard, at the beginning of the 20th century near Tunis, a good augury. In 1961 political upheavals drove our family to France. After a few months, my father bought a vineyard in the Medoc: Château Patache d’Aux”.
When he was still a teenager, Jean Michel decided that his professional future would lie in vines, albeit his first passion had been horses and riding.
“At the Faculty of oenology, my teachers were Professors Peynaud and Ribereau-Gayon. I graduated in 1980 as oenologist. “Soon after I’ve found the vineyard of my dreams – Château Lacombe Noaillac, in Medoc, located in north of Pauillac and Saint Estèphe. The shape. Our first child Romain was born in 1983 a good vintage, Sophie came in 1985, a great year and Flora during the 1989 harvest. Nowadays Château Lacombe Noaillac is still our family house. These days, the vineyard produces just less than 300.000 bottles a year. “
In 1995 he acquired Château Liversan, a classified cru bourgeois supérieur, in the commune of Saint Sauveur, just west of Pauillac, with some 90 acres of vines; together with an associated vineyard Fonpiqueyre. In 1999 two more cru bourgeois vineyards were added to the group, Château Lieujean and Château Lagrave.
In 2003 Marc Ferté, an experienced Champagne merchant, joined the company as the Domaines Lapalu general manager, with special interest in the USA, India and China.
“In United States, I try to increase our wine states listings and on the other hand, I am looking to develop the Asian distribution mainly in Hong Kong and continental China; Château Patache d’Aux is listed by Singapore Airlines, which is the reason why Domaines Lapalu must reinforce the key hotel and restaurant customers in this area.”
Jean Michel Lapalu is going to establish Domaines Lapalu among the most important Medoc and Haut-Medoc export companies and achieve 70% of export market share (vs 50% in 2009).
1, rue du 19 mars
Tel: +33 (0)5 56 415 018
General Manager: Marc Ferté