Château Puy-Razac
At the heart of Saint-Émilion

Château Puy-Razac is a family affair. As a fourth-generation member, I manage this vineyard according to the values that guided my predecessors: vine, terroir and environment respect. Our cuvée of Saint-Émilion Grand Cru is the culmination of this work.

Catherine Leymarie Thoilliez

Winegrower and manager of Château Puy-Razac

Saint-Émilion vineyards: a passion as legacy

A family business since 1945

The story of Château Puy-Razac began when my great-grandfather, Pierre Thoilliez, left the North of France for a new life in the Bordeaux region. In the 1940s, he bought six hectares of vineyards in the southern part of Saint-Émilion, in a place called Puits-Rasat. Freely interpreting the name of this region, he named his winery “Puy-Razac”.

His son, Guy Thoilliez, quickly joined him after finishing his engineering studies. Guy managed the family property while working simultaneously as vineyard manager at Château Monbousquet. For nearly 45 years, he operated Puy-Razac’s vineyard with discipline and passion, alongside his wife Simone.

From my earliest childhood, I joined my grand-father Guy in the vineyards. There, amongst the vine rows, he passed his know-how and his love of the craft on to me. Yet, nothing had ordained me to succeed him, if not our common passion for viticulture and our attachment to the family estate.

Into a modern age

Indeed, after finishing my business studies, I flew to South America where I hitchhiked for nine months. Upon my return to France, I came to help my grandfather on the property, whilst starting to look for a job. A temporary situation that gradually became permanent. Everything happened quickly, and when my grandfather died in 1997, I naturally took over.

To complete the experience I received at his side, I started training with competent bodies: driving a tractor, handling a sprayer, pruning the vine… up to wine tasting at the oenology university of Bordeaux.

Now, under my guidance, Château Puy-Razac opens a new chapter in its history. My work, focused on the care of the vine by modern farming techniques, allows the grape to express its full potential.

A vineyard ahead of its time

Sustainable winegrowing and terroir respect

Long before cover cropping was fashionable, my grandfather did not weed his vine rows. True pioneer, he also did not use chemicals, except for the inevitable treatments. I care about the land and the environment. I want to pass something on to future generations. After all, I am just one link in the chain of this family story. Like my grandfather, I am built on peasant common sense!

We are therefore fervent promoters of sustainable agriculture and 96% of the products we use to protect our vines are certified organic. Our approach is officially recognized by the HVE (High Environmental Value) certification of Château Puy-Razac.

A vine well cared for

Since I took over from my grandfather in 1997, I have tried tirelessly to live up to his legacy. I have entered into an uncompromising search for the purest quality, with the greatest respect of our terroir.

A philosophy that translates into the tending of the vineyard: short pruning, disbudding, green harvest, leaf removal, optimal ripeness harvest, etc. My goal is to obtain a beautiful grape, key ingredient of a successful vinification and therefore of a high-quality wine.

A unique Saint-Émilion Grand cru!

An unusual grape variety planting

Following the recent acquisition of an additional hectare, the vineyard of Château Puy-Razac is now made up of seven hectares in one piece, in the heart of the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. At the foot of Saint-Émilion’s southern slope (“Côte Pavie”), these plots are located on a magnificent sandy-clay terroir.

Another atypical feature of our estate is that its grape varieties stand out from the classic Saint-Émilion proposals thanks to the high proportion of Cabernet Franc (45%) compared to Merlot (55%). The combination of this exceptional terroir and this particular balance results in very well-structured red wines, renowned for their ability to age wonderfully.

Puy-Razac’s secret ingredient

On October 10, 1966, shortly after 5 a.m., the 36 grape-pickers who had spent the whole night celebrating the “Gerbe Baude” (end-of-harvest party), decided to sit down on the low wall of La Clotte to admire the rising sun.
So they all sat down on this wall and waited… and waited…
Forty-five minutes later, the day had dawned, but none of them saw the sun: in their “emotional” state, they were looking in the wrong direction!

This absolutely true anecdote illustrates the three elements needed to create a great wine in our region:

  • first of all, the terroir made of the great soils of Saint-Émilion, its subsoil and its climate
  • the second is a good, true, honest “vigneron”.
  • and – at last – friends to share it with !

From our vineyards to your table

With all these ingredients – the terroir, the grapes, the women and men who have made and still make the history of Puy-Razac – our Saint-Émilion Grand Cru is ready to delight your taste buds, with freshness and elegance!
Our network of dealers and wine merchants serves all of France. And now Château Puy-Razac travels, exporting to the four corners of the globe: from Copenhagen to Cape Town, from Abu Dhabi to Osaka.

Do not hesitate to contact me to organize a tasting or find your nearest retailer!