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14th March 2022

FRENCH VINES, IRISH ROOTS…

Having recently celebrated one year of successfully distributing Hinch Distillery’s portfolio of fine whiskies and gin, Drinks Inc., is delighted to welcome the distillery’s sister brand, Chateau de la Ligne, to our growing wine range. 

When Belfast man Dr. Terry Cross (owner of Hinch Distillery) bought the estate on St. Patrick’s Day 2000, his ambition was to put the Château back on the Bordeaux wine map. Located in the picturesque village of Lignan De Bordeaux, at the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers wine region of Bordeaux, the earliest written records of wine production at Château de La Ligne date from 1874 when the estate of 200 hectares produced 175 “tonneaux” (158,000 litres) of wine.  Prior to Dr. Cross’ ownership the last production of Château de La Ligne was in 1956 when, following a historically severe winter in Bordeaux, the dead vines were uprooted and the vineyard transformed into meadow.  And so the château became a sleeping beauty - until it was woken by Terry, Northern Ireland’s own latter-day “oie sauvage” (Wine Geese).

Employing the expertise of viticultural and agronomical advisors, Terry completely replanted the estate’s vineyards to bring winemaking back to its cellars - with 66,000 vines of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes on 11 hectares of prime land.  From a dominant position on a south-facing ridge, the vineyard’s soil boasts an ideal mixture of gravel, clay, limestone and sand, which helps to give structure and elegance to the wines. In addition, the vineyard’s north-south orientation maximises the benefits of sun exposure, which helps the grapes achieve maximum ripeness, resulting in great fruit intensity and weight. 

Today both the Chateau and its vineyards are magnificent, producing an award-winning Bordeaux Supérieur Range of Red, White, Rosé and Crémant de Bordeaux wines.

“We’re extremely proud to add Chateau de la Ligne to our wine portfolio,” says James McLornan, Wine Buyer for Drinks Inc.  “Dr. Terry Cross is part of the Wine Geese, an affectionate term for those locals from this island who over the centuries have developed impressive wine estates elsewhere in the world, most notably in Bordeaux. I believe the prestigious Chateau de la Ligne provides a unique opportunity for Northern Ireland’s licensed trade to offer a fantastic locally owned Bordeaux wine range to their customers. A range of Bordeaux that Northern Ireland can be privileged to call its very own.” 

The flagship wine of the vineyard Chateau de la Ligne Grand Reserve is a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. The high proportion of Merlot allows for earlier drinking as well as giving elegance and texture. The Cabernet Sauvignon provides body and structure as well as giving elements of spice to the palate. All grapes are hand-picked to ensure optimum quality, and then sorted before vinification in thermo-regulated stainless-steel vats. The wine is then aged in American and French oak barrels for 12 months, and then laid to rest in the estate’s cellars for a further 24 months before release.  The range also includes a Bordeaux Supérieur Cuvée Prestige, a predominantly Sauvignon Blanc  ‘Marquis De La Ligne’ White, a popular pale style ‘Marquis De La Ligne’ Rose, and an on-trend Cremant Sparkling. 

Please contact your Drinks Inc. Rep for more information on stocking range.