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Chateau du Tariquet

From 19th-century bear trainers to 21st-century winemakers, every family has a story to tell…


From 19th-century bear trainers to 21st-century winemakers, every family has a story to tell…
Towards the end of the 19th century, rural France had a hard time feeding all its children, which lead many of those in the countryside to emigrate, in the hope of finding a better future...

This sets the scene for our story. The village of Ercé lies at the foot of the Pyrenees, in Ariège. Given their proximity to the natural habitat of mountain bears, the inhabitants were particularly skilled in the art of bear taming. Thus, young Artaud was a bear tamer by trade. With his two trusty beasts, whose names history has forgotten, he left in search of work and adventure, travelled the world, crossed the ocean, and finally settled in the United States, where he lived contentedly… Until a longing for his roots drove him to set off once again in search of somewhere to spend his old age. Returning to France in 1912, he saw the Tariquet and instantly fell in love with the area. Yet with the savings he had, he realised he could not afford to buy the property.

He therefore turned to his son, Jean Pierre, who had stayed in New York and had married Pauline, a pretty young girl, also from Ariège. Jean Pierre worked as a bartender, mixing elegant cocktails in a popular bar in town… Together, father and son bought the Tariquet wine estate. As most of the vines had been destroyed by phylloxera, all that was left were seven hectares of vineyards in a sorry state…

Every good story has an element of drama…
1914 was a terrible year, with the outbreak of World War I. Jean Pierre Artaud, a fervent patriot, returned to France to fight for his country, sustained a bayonet wound in fierce man-to-man combat and lost so much blood that he suffered from memory loss for several years. An amnesiac, he remained in hospital in France until 1922, when he finally returned to New York, where his wife Pauline had spent week after week meeting every boat that came in from Le Havre, in the hope of seeing her husband again one day. Jean Pierre was so marked by his wartime experience that he was hardly recognisable…
No doubt the decision was a difficult one for Pauline, who enjoyed modern life in New York, but they soon decided to return to France, and shortly thereafter were blessed with the arrival of a daughter, “Hélène”…

From the Artauds to the Grassa family
Pierre Grassa was born in France to Spanish parents from the Sierra de Guara, just the other side of the Pyrenees… He spent most of his youth outdoors, as a cowherd or manual labourer, and had little formal education. He was a determined young man, bursting with vitality and a thirst for adventure. Sport offered him an outlet for his drive to succeed, to enjoy life to the full. He channelled his energy into military service, joining the Joinville battalion, which selected top national sportsmen from each discipline. Returning to civilian life, he found work in Bordeaux in a hairdressing salon… Broom in hand, he never tired of watching the scissors and curling irons work their charm. He decided to train as a hairdresser and gained his credentials with flying colours.

1939 marked the end of Pierre’s career as a hairdresser, as mobilization for World War II changed the course of his life. Taken prisoner of war with his battalion, captivity was unbearable for this restless character. He escaped and joined the Resistance in South West France, in Éauze to be precise… home to the Tariquet, where he met Hélène… When a good looking young man meets a charming young lady, it is easy to imagine what happens next in our story…

Pierre and Hélène are inseparable! They get married and together bring a new lease of life to the Tariquet. The château and property need restoring to their former glory - they are in love and unafraid of the challenge, and they set to work at once. Soon, thanks to Hélène and Pierre’s efforts, Tariquet’s vineyards are once again producing Bas-Armagnac brandies. They have four children, Maïté, Christiane, Françoise and Yves. Maïté and Yves choose to remain on the property and continue the family tradition.

In 1972 they create their first company with their father, boosting sales of Bas-Armagnac brandies produced at the property…

In 1982, they start producing quality white wines, a pioneering step for the region…
All good stories end on a positive note. Yves’ sons,
Armin and Rémy, are now winemakers themselves and will soon be writing the next chapter of this story…

Cultivating tradition
Le Tariquet has been the cradle of an entire family since 1912. First of all, the home of Hélène and Pierre Grassa, who began the tradition with their love of fine Armagnac. Then, the home of their children Maïté and Yves, both fervent winemakers, who have now been joined by Yves’ sons, Armin and Rémy, the third generation of winegrowers in the family. Together they manage the Tariquet estate, which has always remained an independent and, now more than ever, family-owned company. They run the property with an eye on the future and have built a business that is well placed to meet market demand. With close to 900 hectares of land, they produce Tariquet white wines and Bas-Armagnac brandies that have won international acclaim.

One might presume that Tariquet’s success is simply the result of hard work, dedication and respect for the vine and all things vinous. Yet the small region of Gascony known as the Gers, famed for its Armagnac and quality of life, is also a bastion of Gascon grapes and terroir, where differences are cultivated with a touch of reasoned rebelliousness.
Breaking the rules
The soil that nourishes the Tariquet vineyards is key to the essence of our wine. The region’s temperate climate also plays a crucial role, its mid-August warm days and cool nights encouraging the development of aromatic precursors.

Yet an expert touch is required to make the most of such favourable conditions. The fact that Tariquet wines and Bas-Armagnacs brandies have been acclaimed with the best of their class is due largely to the boldness of one man. Yves Grassa, now an internationally renowned winemaker from Gascony, began 25 years ago by breaking the rules of traditional winemaking, proposing white wines that were consistently characterised by a fresh finesse and fruity elegance.

He was the first in the region to dare to plant chardonnay, sauvignon or chenin grapes, which were far from popular in those days. Worse still, he conjured up combinations of sworn enemies such as chardonnay with sauvignon, or chenin with chardonnay. The Tariquet style was born of contemplation, rebellion and reason, followed by continuous observation and improvement. Both in the vineyard, and in the wine cellar, as only a true winemaker makes wine in the midst of his vineyard.
Defying his detractors, Yves Grassa took on the challenge of producing white wine and was duly rewarded for his work by being selected as Wine
of The Year in England, in 1987.

Seducing the audience
The challenge was also to seduce the consumer, which Tariquet has done, defying all tenets of white wine consumption. Reality goes well beyond the wildest hopes of any marketing study. The brand has seduced a wide range of people… from young women enjoying our Premières Grives as an aperitif, then with a meal and for the rest of the evening… to gentlemen savouring a veal shank cooked slowly for 18 hours with our "Classic ", a wine that will never go out of fashion.

This success confirms our strong position as a producer of wines that meet consumer demand… and drives our ambition to continue doing so.

The next generation
A young team has now taken up the challenge. We wish them success and are sure they will never forget, nor cease to demonstrate, that a touch of boldness, coupled with a convivial approach and the pleasure of producing fine wine, will take us further still…

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Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике "Классик"

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet "Classique"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике 1994

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet 1994

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике 1993

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet 1993

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике XO

Bas-Armagnac XO Chateau du Tariquet Magnum

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике XO

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet XO "Equilibre"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике VSOP

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet VSOP "Carrement"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике "Фоль Бланш"

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet "Folle Blanche"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике "Фоль Бланш" 12-летний

Bas-Armagnac. Chateau du Tariquet "Folle Blanche" 12 years

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике "Фоль Бланш" 15-летний

Bas-Armagnac. Chateau du Tariquet "Folle Blanche" 15 years

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике "Фоль Бланш" 8-летний

Bas-Armagnac. Chateau du Tariquet "Folle Blanche" 8 years

Бланш Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике

Blanche Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике "Ле Лежандэр"

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet "Le Legendaire"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике XO

Bas-Armagnac XO Chateau du Tariquet Pot Gascon

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике XO

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet XO "Equilibre"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике XO

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet XO

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике VSOP

Bas-Armagnac VSOP Chateau du Tariquet Pot Gascon

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике VSOP

Bas-Armagnac VSOP Chateau du Tariquet Magnum

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике VSOP

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet VSOP "Carafe Classic"

Баз-Арманьяк. Шато дю Тарике VSOP

Bas-Armagnac AOC. Chateau du Tariquet VSOP


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