Catherine Péré Vergé, one of Bordeaux’s most respected proprietors, has died aged 74.
‘One word: energy’: Catherine Péré Vergé
Péré Vergé – who died in Bordeaux on Friday afternoon, April 5 – owned Chateau La Violette, Chateau Le Gay and Chateau Montviel in Pomerol, La Graviere in Lalande-de-Pomerol, and Bodega Monteviejo in Argentina.
Before buying her first wine estate in 1985, Péré Vergé worked for over 40 years in the family lead crystal glassware business, Cristal d’Arques.
She purchased Chateau Montviel in 1985, a 5ha estate in Pomerol, and hired Michel Rolland as her consultant in 1988 (she was one of the founding members of his Clos de Los Siete project in Argentina).
She was perhaps best known for the 3.25ha Chateau La Violette, which she bought in 2006, and whose wines garnered effusive praise from critics.
Known for her passionate attention to detail, she oversaw everything in her vineyards herself, from pruning and harvesting to blending and selling the wines. ‘I’m the carbon copy of my father,’ she liked to say.
In 2010, at a dinner to mark her 25 years in Pomerol, she said, ’Today, six of my nine grandchildren help with harvesting at the weekends, and at 10 years old (the youngest of them) Henri is already asking for magnums of Le Gay… so I know the future is assured.’
‘One word to sum up Catherine: energy,’ Alain Moueix, president of the Grand Cru Classés de Saint Emilion and owner of Chateau Mazeyres in Pomerol told Decanter.com, ‘She worked tirelessly for her estates.’
Péré Vergé is survived by four children and nine grandchildren. Her son Henri Parent is expected to take over the Vignbobles Péré Vergé estates.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux