(pwee-nahr) | Bordeaux
Château Puynard is a small winery and family home of Irish expats and former London wine retailers, Andrew Eakin and Naomi Murtagh…
in Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux established in 2016. Puynard consists of 16 hectares of contiguous, naturally-farmed vineyards on a gentle slope surrounding the 18th century Château. The Puynard team utilizes their experience with natural and regenerative farming practices to produce new and surprising styles of ultra-delicious wines that break the mold and historic preconceptions of conventional Bordeaux.
Château Puynard is an innovative new winery in the emerging “New Bordeaux” centered around the region’s diverse terroir and regenerative farming. The Puynard property, built in 1790, has been home to seven-generations of winemakers prior to getting a fresh start from the current owners, Irish expats Andrew Eakin and Naomi Murtagh. The couple purchased Château Puynard in 2016 and made their first vintage in 2017. From the start, Andrew and Naomi utilized organic farming principles and they were granted their organic certification by Ecocert in 2020. 10 years prior to Andrew and Namoi’s arrival,, the previous owners ceased all use of chemicals in the vineyard.
Located near the village of Berson on the right bank of the Gironde river, the property consists of 17 hectares of contiguous, gently-sloping vineyards on the south-east side of the Château, planted in two different soil types: sandy-clay on the plateau and clay-limestone on the hillside. The pride of the winery is a parcel of 50+ year old cabernet sauvignon vines that yield incredible wines (11%), 40+ year old merlot (83%), and 6% chardonnay (as the couple are also Burgundy lovers). They utilize regenerative cover crops between rows to encourage rich, living soil and a diverse animal life in the vineyard.
Andrew Eakin began his journey in the wine trade in 2010 when he created the wine, beer, and spirits shops Bottle Apostle in London, which he expanded to five locations before deciding to move his family to Bordeaux. Andrew says, “Moving from retail to the production and sales aspects of the industry has given me a much broader understanding of the whole process and certainly given me a much deeper appreciation for each bottle made, sold and consumed.”
Andrew’s partner, Naomi Murtagh, attended art college in Limerick, Ireland, specializing in Fashion. After her graduation, Naomi and Andrew moved to Paris together, gaining experience in their respective fields. From there, they moved to London where Naomi continued to work within the fashion and art industries for several years, while Andrew built the Bottle Apostle. The lifestyle change to becoming a vineyard owner was a big leap, but Naomi is enjoying the challenge. She is responsible for the brand development, social media, and the running of their gite business.
The couple also owns sister-property, Château Magdeleine Bouhou, minutes away from Château Puynard in Blaye. Both wineries are run by the same team. One of the most impressive features of their venture is the collective team environment that Andrew and Naomi foster across their businesses. Their collaborative spirit and joie de vivre presides over everything they do, a breath of fresh air in the Bordeaux region. This is the spirit of the “New Bordeaux” movement, which divorces itself from the baggage of tradition. Their team brings experience and excitement to their task of revolutionizing old vines into new, unexpected wines.
The Puynard team consists of: Ludwig Vanneron (Master Winemaker, Distiller, Oenologist) from the Cognac region with 22 years of experience in the wine business in 17 countries, Bordeaux native and resident surfer Yann Couturier (Export Manager); and David Bortot (Technical Director) with 20 years of experience at various French establishments including Château Haut-Bailly. Frédéric Marchais is in charge of vineyard work and has been involved in winemaking for 30 years at their sister property, Château Magdeleine Bouhou. Christiane Ceccato (Operations), Isabelle Bolatre (Operations), and Pierre Malvy (Vineyards) round out the tightly-knit team.
Another completely unexpected and revolutionary idea from Andrew was his creation of Two Origins Distillery to produce Irish Whiskey in Bordeaux. Born from Andrew’s passion for Irish Whiskey and connections made in the industry through his Bottle Apostle business, he gained access to exclusive, high-quality single batches of double and triple-distilled Irish whiskey for aging in their distillery and barrel room inside Château Puynard. Two Origins is a marriage between the Irish distillation and French winemaking traditions, reflecting the personal origins of the teams behind it. Andrew’s future plans include his desire to plant barley in front of the Château and create a 100% Bordeaux spirit. De Maison Spirits is proud to also represent Two Origins Distillery in our portfolio.
Cellar work is gentle and intentional, with the primary objective of high quality and purity. Each parcel is vinified separately, then tested for quality and blended at the end. Use of sulfur dioxide is strictly limited for most cuvées, and not used at all in their young, fresh Cuvée Sans Soufre. The top cuvées are hand-harvested, fully destemmed, and fermented spontaneously with native yeasts in 500L French oak barrels that are four and five years old. Total production of this artisan-scale winery is 45-50,000 bottles a year.
Châtau Puynard produces a range of wines from their 16 hectares of estate vineyards, with a youthful point of view, centered around innovation, maximum drinkability and enjoyment. In many ways, Puynard breaks the old Bordeaux mold, opening the door to alternative viticultural possibilities for the region. To start, they produce an iconoclastic low-ABV Blanc de Noirs from their old vine cabernet sauvignon with a very slight copper tint – fresh citrus fruits and peach. Their super-limited natural Rosé, the most compelling pink wine we have experienced from the region, is a low-ABV, lively, and crushable direct-press rosé made from merlot. The heart of Château Puynard’s production is centered around Cuvée Tradition, an assembly of merlot parcels throughout the estate, vinified in stainless steel for the preservation of fruit purity and maximum freshness. Cuvée Tradition updates the Bordeaux flavor profile, offering immediate drinkability and a food friendliness that makes it perfect for restaurants.
‘The Steps’ is a limited, top-of-the-range cuvée from selected old plots of merlot and cabernet sauvignon, offering a harmonious and complex wine with excellent structure, without sacrificing drinkability. There is also a Cuvée Sans Soufre, similar to Cuvée Tradition, is a super-drinkable red wine made from a selection of merlot vines fermented in cement tanks, without added sulfur dioxide. The result is a clean, fruit-forward, youthful natural wine that reflects its Bordeaux origins. Last, but not least, are the limited cuvées of L’Attache (100% old-vine merlot) and Le Chêne (from the oldest cabernet sauvignon parcels), produced in very small quantities when the vintage allows.
We feel that Château Puynard is at the vanguard of experimentation and quality, representing the spirit and energy of ‘New Bordeaux’ with their team’s charisma and enthusiasm. Puynard offers a new, sustainable vision for the Bordeaux region, based around collaboration and openness, and working in harmony with the natural environment. We are here for it!