The Bourillon Dorléans Estate The history of an emblematic Estate of Vouvray
Vineyard in the family since approximately the 1870’s:
The story of the Bourillon Dorléans estate really starts after the first World War. The founder Gaston Dorléans, sells the first vintage under his name in 1921. The wine batch created to celebrate the centenary of the estate in 2021 was the same.
From the union of Gaston et Hélène Dorléans (yet another name of one of the wine batches produced by the estate!) was born Suzanne. n 1961, she married Jean Bourillon who learnt on the fly, how to become a wine producer to ensure the future of his wife’s family tradition.
That same year, their son Frédéric (alias Fred) was born. He, of course would work as a wine producer! From an early age, he fell in love with the ‘cuvées’ made by his grandfather.
Fred studied winegrowing in Champagne at ‘Avize’ Technical College. He still has fond memories of a happy and relatively exhilarating time. He got inspired by the visits of estates such as Roederer or Bollinger. So when he came back home, he got the motivation to vinify traditional, authentic top-end wines and to create a classy image for his family vineyard.
In 1984, as well as working on the family estate, Fred set up his own business and bought 2 hectares. Following his parents’ retirement in 1992, he merged their enterprise with his own company.
1990 saw the arrival of a new vintage! But it was also the birth of Benjamin, Fred’s first son. 1990 saw the arrival of a new vintage! He would be raised to answer the question: ‘what do you want to do when grow up?’ With the following response a: WINE PRODUCER! So, it’s no surprise that as the eldest son he would study in that area at the Technical College in Amboise. He first worked with some fellow neighbours of the Vouvray designation, the Champalou vineyard and Jean Marc Gilet.
In 1994, Maxime was born, followed by Steven in 1995. Thes two were not meant to join the family business, but they nevertheless joined forces to lend a hand with the many tasks and by participating in some events throughout the growing process. Benjamin, eventually, in 2021, decided to join his father and brother in the business.
In 2023, the two brothers decide to create their first batch by isolating a one-hectare plot, thereby starting to create the new identity of the estate they will inherit.
It is true, that following Fred, a strong-willed character with inventive and somewhat eccentric ideas, is no easy task! Over the course of years, he reinvents the image of the family estate, sometimes by creating less traditional labels (Indigene picture), or innovative wine batches (Saint Martin) or with an even more audacious invention, such as his fragrant label, dispersing an aroma of vine flower as you scratch it.
There is also a very close relationship with art. Let’s remember the vintage made in partnership with the sculptor Michel Audiard or the labels called ‘Coup de trique’ made by Dominique Spiesser or the unforgettable carvings of the troglodyte cave in 1995!
But above all, it is mainly the love of sharing and a strong link with gastronomy which gives him the inspiration for the vintage. It is to go with his friends’ or clients’ dishes that he works meticulously and ‘pampers’ his wines to express the full essence of the soils. He represents with passion the French way of life, the warm welcome, the sharing, but also the way to enhance his wines and the very typical local dishes. He indeed created several events linked with the gastronomy either on his own or with friends or partners: ‘the Gourmet mornings’, ‘the meal of the big stomachs’, ‘ten dishes ten wines’, the wine producer’s meal during the open day at the estate; so many opportunities to get together and share the passion of the French good way of living!