Chateau Beauportail

Chateau BeauportailThis is a story about wine from Chateau Beauportail. It’s also a story about passion. And Canada. And France. Located at the gates of Bergerac, in AOC Pécharmant, Chateau Beauportail features 100+ years of winemaking history. Vineyard soils of rare, iron-rich gray clay produce powerful red wines. Read on for more details about the passion of a Canadian man, his uncle and his brother, and the stunning Quintessence de Beauportail Pécharmant 2019.

Chateau Beauportail Story

Merlot Stefan Niedojadlo, his brother Chris, and his uncle Jerzy hail from Canada, specifically the Toronto area and the Niagara wine region. A couple of years ago, Stefan and Jerzy “took a leap of faith and bought Chateau Beauportail in southwest France, after falling in love with the wines.” First, Stefan said, they tasted wines from more than 50 wineries that were for sale around France. They visited properties in Languedoc, Provence, Fronsac and Saint-Émilion. “The wines from Chateau Beauportail tasted the best for us.”

Stefan also told us that he knew he wanted to make wine since tasting his first bottle in university. “I always had a passion for cooking and cuisine, and I had made wine for many years at home with my father (in an amateur sense). I remember driving out and getting the grapes from growers in the Niagara region and processing them by hand in the garage. Although the climate in Southern Ontario doesn’t produce the same full-bodied, intense red wines we loved, we did make great wines together. We purchased this property near Bergerac, France to follow the dream of producing those wines we love.”

Subsequently, Stefan became Chateau Beauportail’s head winemaker, continuing the legacy of the previous owner, but with his unique Canadian touch, including use of Canadian oak barrels. “I remember reading an article in the newspaper 20 years ago about the Canadian Oak Cooperage Company, one of the first to make barrels using Canadian oak. I knew I had to incorporate a piece of Canada in the wines we made here.”

Meanwhile, his uncle Jerzy, with a background in product design, marketing and art, is the winery’s creative lead of product design and packaging. In addition, his brother Chris is the brand ambassador and sales lead in the Americas.

Chateau Beauportail

According to Stefan, “Pécharmant can produce wines on par with the Grand Cru appellations such as Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. The geology, soil structure, south-facing hills, and proximity to the Dordogne river are all factors which come into play.” He noted that the climate in Pécharmant provides more intense heat in the summer than the Bordeaux appellations, which can lead to very powerful, age-worthy wines. “Being a small appellation means that it’s not as widely known as others, but it is a widely kept secret amongst the French that Pécharmant produces delicious wines that make an easy decision when you see one on a wine list at any restaurant.”

In 2021, the family pledged that the winery would become 100% organic. Stefan stated, “It is a long process that requires a big investment and a steady focus on what is the right thing to do. In the meantime, we observe sustainable farming practices with minimal intervention.”

Quintessence de Beauportail Pécharmant 2019

Quintessence De Beauportail 2019Quintessence is the pinnacle of wine crafted at Chateau Beauportail. This is an impressive, rich, harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Cabernet Franc (25%), Merlot (20%) and Malbec (5%). We loved this sample of a well-structured, velvety red wine.  On the nose, we found dark fruits, with hints of cedar, spices and vanilla, which are echoed on the palate, along with some earthiness from the clay soil.

Words that came to mind as we sipped on it – gorgeous, sophisticated, luxurious, magnificent and memorable. We paired it with steak, but it would also complement lamb, duck, and mushroom dishes, or dark chocolate desserts.

This wine is built for aging for another 20+ years, revealing more nuanced layers of flavors over time. But if you don’t have patience, decant it for a few hours before pouring.

Not surprisingly, Quintessence brought home the gold at the 2023 London Wine Competition. Their other wine, Chateau Beauportail Pécharmant, AOC 2019 took home the silver.

Summary: Chateau Beauportail

In conclusion, we recommend Chateau Beauportail wines. For now, you can order them at the winery’s website. Soon, you will be able buy them in Canada through the private wine club, Opimian. Subsequently, Stefan and his family are actively searching for a US distributor this year. Once that happens, you can purchase a bottle of their award-winning Quintessence for about $35 US.

Photo credit goes to Chateau Beauportail (except the bottle of Quintessence).

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Margot and Dave