Set right in the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers region, the magnificent estate of Château Sainte Marie enjoys an excellent geographic position. The south-facing vineyards stretch over two very sunny hilltops which are among the highest points in the Gironde region. Fifth generation Stéphane Dupuch took the helm in 1997 and immediately transitioned the estate over to organic viticulture. Like his father before him, Stéphane served a stint as the President of the Entre-Deux-Mers Growers' Association with the primary goal of convincing his colleagues that the future of the appellation will be found through denser vine planting, lower yields and natural vineyard management.
Stéphane is committed to working his soils, encourages biodiversity in the vineyards, and has been known to take extreme measures to allow his terroirs to speak for themselves. One example of this is his mulching program. Stéphane planted grassy bamboo reeds on appellation soils, which he mulches and places at the foot of vines. Rather than ordering truckloads of mulch from the local grain store, he opted to develop his own system from his own terroirs so as to not invite anything foreign into the vineyards.
The Dupuch family is gifted in old vines, the most elderly being 107 year old Sémillon vines, which due to their high altitude, uniquely survived the devastating 1956 frost that destroyed a large portion of Bordeaux vines on both banks. The remaining plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc have an average vine age of 35-40 years. Of particular significance is Stéphane's sloping parcel known as Alios, which was named as one of just fourteen sanctuary terroirs in all of the Entre-Deux-Mers, meaning the site can never be used for purposes other than vineyard land. This protective honor is a nod to Stéphane's tireless efforts farming this majestic terroir.