The Château

Since 1985, the Château du Grand Caumont AOC Corbières has been one of the jewels in the crown of the Corbières appellation and is steeped in history. Three generations of the Rigal family have cultivated the land here and produced with passion their Corbières, Vins de Pays d'Oc and Vins de Pays de l'Aude wines. The estate has existed since Roman times when it was then known as "Villa Manzanetto". It was then a mixed farming property and covered an area of nearly 1 000 hectares.
It was subsequently renamed Grand Caumont, after the Mediterranean scrubland that overlooks the château. This hill, covered in thyme, rosemary and typical Mediterranean shrubs, is called "Capus Monti" meaning "Bald Mountain" and gave its name to the "Grand Caumont".
In the ninth century, the estate belonged to King Charles the Bald who, in 847 A.D., gave the property to his nephew.
During the French Revolution the château and its outbuildings were completely burned down. Only a few remains survived, such as the tower and two portals.

In 1850 the estate was bought by Auguste Sarda who rebuilt the property, planted vines and built the cellar. It was at this time that the Grand Caumont became an experimental estate, put forward as a model throughout the region, and received an award in recognition of its innovative work.
In 1906 Louis Rigal, founder of the famous Roquefort Rigal cheese company, bought the property, made it his family home, and worked the vines for more than thirty years.
The estate was then handed down to his son, Louis Rigal, who continued his father's work until the end of the 1970s.

His wife, Françoise Rigal, took over the running of the estate at the beginning of the 80s and, with her passion and enthusiasm, worked hard to modernise it as well as setting up a company to sell their bottled wines. She made numerous improvements in terms of grape varieties, has taken great care to preserve the old Carignan vines, has replanted a certain number of AOC parcels with Syrah, Grenache noir and Grenache blanc, and Vin de Pays parcels with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon... It was at that time that the Corbières appellation was recognised as an AOC. With dogged determination, Françoise Rigal completely renovated the cellar, the equipment and the estate buildings and developped an extremely rigourous quality charter, which has been regularly rewarded by numerous medals and awards from around the world.
In 2003, her daughter Laurence joined her to help manage the estate, having worked for fifteen years or so in marketing and communications in Paris. With her solid experience in advertising and her business acumen, Laurence Rigal now introduces new clients in France and abroad to these wines full of the character of the terroir and has developped new rosé and white wines to meet the current expectations of wine lovers worldwide. She has also completed the restructuring of the vineyard by introducing new grape varieties to the estate such as Cinsault, Vermentino and Marselan.