Gamay is a noble grape, son of Pinot Noir, and the wines it creates have always been numbered among the great red wines of Burgundy.
Once a place to rest along the pilgrims' route of Santiago de Compostela, Château des Jacques was purchased by maison Louis Jadot in 1996.
Although the domain has, historically, always had close ties to Burgundy, the links between Beaujolais and the wider Burgundian region have not always been all that well defined. This is a reminder that, due to its size - 18,000 hectares in total - Beaujolais has its own distinctive identity.
One thing that makes Beaujolais totally unique is its soils, based mainly on pink granite, a crystalline bedrock that was formed 350 million years ago.
Beaujolais also derives its uniqueness from its grape, Gamay Noir, progeny of the Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc grapes. Variously accused of a range of evils ("most harmful to human beings according to Philippe le Hardi, Duke of Burgundy, in his edict of 1395) and its easily caricatured fruit profile, Gamay is nevertheless the only plant that thrives on these infertile soils, and the wines it creates have always been numbered among the great red wines of Burgundy.
A vineyard rooted under the wings of the windmill
The château established on a lieu-dit called "Les Jacques" in Romanèche-Thorins, dates from the 18th century and is supported by vaulted cellars from the 17th. It was the second home of the Sornay family, and only 2 hectares of Moulin-à-Vent were vinified there when it was sold in 1924 to Amédée Rousseau, a visionary French entrepreneur and wine enthusiast who would dedicate the last years of his life to the creation of his dream-wine estate.
That same year, the area of wine production around the hamlet of "Les Thorins", surrounding the 15th century windmill, officially became the "Moulin-à-Vent" appellation. Patiently, for three years, Amédée Rousseau acquired vines at Moulin-à-Vent from 60 different families. Its ambition: to produce Great Burgundy Wines.
Through its demanding and pioneering methods in the region (destemming, parcel vinification, long macerations, aging in barrels, bottling at the property, etc.), Château des Jacques has become a signature of the great wines from Beaujolais.
The Thorin family, which succeeded Amédée Rousseau, defended with conviction this vision of a noble Gamay, capable of producing complex, bright wines with significant aging potential. It is this philosophy that will push them, during the "New" turn of the 1950s to maintain their original vinification, resisting the sirens of more immediate wines made possible by carbonic maceration, a process that will never be used at the château.
In 1996, the Thorins passed on the Château to a friendly family, the Kopf family, owners of Maison Louis Jadot. The House, historical defender of Beaujolais, then undertook to renovate and replant part of the vineyard and to turn to environmental practices with a view to organic conversion. The integrity and singular identity of the chateau are maintained, which retains its own teams, vines, winery and methods.
Maison Louis Jadot completes the estate's range with the acquisition in 2001 of 27 hectares of vines on the most beautiful terroirs of Morgon (Côte du Py, Corcelette, Bellevue). The winery, completely renovated in 2017 with modern and practical equipment's, makes it possible to take a step forward in the finesse and precision of the wines.