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The over maturation

The wine-making process of sweet wines is based on a natural principle of over maturation of the grapes. This is the moment where the grape reaching its size and its maximum sugar concentration, starts to loose the water and thus increases its sugar ratio.

Among the natural phenomena leading to the over maturation,  the raisined  berries result of a natural sunburning of the grapes which are being left on the wine to dry what intensifies the sugar in it.


























The "botrytisation"


Thanks to the sun, a microscopic fungus named "botrytis cinerea", has its action – first blocked  (which avoids to evoluate toward acid rottenness) – then transcended, in the noblest possible way, under the sun effect, generating high sugar content inside the grapes by water evaporation. This evaporation is eased by the action of the botrytis cinerea which made porous the berries' skin.


Thanks to this process, subtle and delicate flavours of elder-tree, honeysuckle and honey are concentrated under the grape skin thus resulting to great sweet voluptuous wines creation.


Wine Harvest


At the end of September, as well as in October,  the pickers go through the vineyard several times, making several pickings, each time selecting only the grapes that have been completely shrivelled up by the sun.  Consequently the harvest is very limited in size, which explains why sauternes growers have always been far more concerned with quality than with quantity. The production of Dudon is only  2 to 3 glasses per vine stock. The proximity of the castle from the wine storehouse ensures an additional guaranty of quality, by preserving the grapes from being crushed during the transportation. The grape is thus left intact to the winepress. 





                                From  yesterday                 to             today    






Wine-making process



The noble grapes also called rot grapes are lightly pressed  to avoid crushing the stalks and thus preventing the acid taste that may occure. 



The juice obtained ferments in oak casks. Having reached a certain alcoholic strength, the fermentation stops of its own accord, leaving a certain amount of unfermented sugar in the wine. During the nearly two years of barrel ageing, the wine is racked several times, and then finally bottled at the property.   


     The ageing of the wine starts then. The great advantage of the sweet wines against white dry wines is their capability to improve when ageing.

Drunk young, the wine is fresh and fruity, whilst if aged for any length of time (the best vintages can be kept for up to hundred years) it will develop the lusciousness, the breeding and the body which is so peculiar to Sauternes. Fine Sauternes should be handled with great care and the bottles laid down on their side in a cool and temperature controlled cellar.  




A long line of qualified storehouse masters :



A woman first !







 Margot Audignon during 40 years, until 1969

            Marc Lapios from 1969 to 1981,    

Francis Marquille, from 1981 to 1990 (previous storehouse master of Château Coutet) 


 Serge Carreyre, Since 1990.

  Our Wines


© 2007 Château Dudon