Today the appellation of Jurançon is well-loved by sommeliers and found in all the best restaurants around the world, yet it generally remains off the radar for many wine lovers. Not so nearly 500 years ago when the future King of France Henry IV, was baptised in Pau with the traditional garlic and a spoonful of Jurançon wine. That year was 1553 and just five years later in 1558 a small rural property was entered into the register of lands under the name Caussapé. On this property in 1980, Henri Ramonteau established Domaine Cauhapé on what had been his parents’ farm.
The estate is planted with Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng, whilst Henri has also set about reviving three other old native varieties: Camaralet de Lasseube, Lauzet and Courbu Blanc. All the fruit is hand-harvested and hand sorted, with vinification in a mix of stainless steel and barrel, depending on the cuvee.
Today the estate consists of 43ha and Domaine Cauhapé has become the most renowned producer of Jurançon wines, both dry and sweet. 100km from Biarritz, Domaine Cauhapé enjoys a temperate Atlantic climate in the rain shadow of the Pyrenées. The sweet wines are made from late-harvested fruit picked from October onwards, in some years all the way into January. This results in wines of great complexity and purity.