The Récapet family, millers in St Emilion, began planting vines as early as 1650. In the mid-nineteenth century, they migrated further south, to Branne. This is where Jean-François Récapet, known as "Léonce", was born in December 1858. He was to take over and diversify the family liqueur distiller y. In 1894, he married Emma Thibeaud, the daughter of a wine grower in Moulon, whose ancestors had been coopers (barrel masers). This is when his true involvement in "viticulture"really began.
In 1890, phylloxera wreaked havoc throughout the Bordeaux vineyards. Léonce bought the Belair and Montremblant domaines and in 1897, acquired Château Bonnet in Grézillac. The poor state of the vineyards spurred on the enterprising Léonce who experimented tirelessly with the latest wine growing and winemaking techniques. In 1901, he bought the neighbouring Château Reynier. Léonce and Emma Récapet had three children: Marie, who died in infancy, André and Denise. André graduated as an agricultural engineer in 1914, but died in the battle of Verdun in 1918 ...
Denise had become the sole heir. In 1923, she married François Lurton from Bordeaux, the son of a solicitor, descended from a family whose roots were in Central France (Berry). His family owned a house, "La Martinette", in Moulon in the Entre-Deux-Mers region. The young couple settled down at Château Bonnet. Léonce Récapet, the main shareholder of the Société des Grands Crus, owner of Châteaux Brane-Cantenac, Issan and Lagrange, among others, acquired the flagship (Brane) upon the Company’s dissolution in 1925. A few years later he became an owner-partner of the illustrious Château Margaux until 1947, when Francois Lurton swapped shares with Clos Fourtet in Saint-Emilion.
DENISE AND FRANÇOIS LURTON HAD FOUR CHILDREN :
André was born in 1924, Lucien in 1925, Simone in 1929 and Dominique in 1932. Sadly Denise fell ill and died in 1934. Very affected by his daughter’s death, Léonce nevertheless continued running the properties, along with his son-in-law, until his death in 1943. André and Lucien assisted their father, François, until Dominique reached his majority in 1953, the year when the estates were divided among the four Lurton children: André (Château Bonnet), Lucien (Château Brane-Cantenac), Simone (the Franquinotte and Montremblant properties) and Dominique (Château Reynier). They inherited joint ownership of Clos Fourtet upon the death of their father, François, in 1971.
André, married to Elizabeth Garros, received the family home, Château Bonnet. A hard worker, a “reclaimer” of grands terroirs abandoned since the time of phylloxera, in 40 years he amassed property totaling 600 hectares situated primarily in Entre-deux-Mers and the Pessac-Léognan appellation, of which he was one of the founders in 1987. In their turn, his sons, François and Jacques, acquired wine estates in Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Spain and the Languedoc, grouped under the banner of a company based in Bordeaux, and currently run by François. Jacques manages Domaine de La Martinette and The Islander Estate in Australia. Among the family’s five girls, Christine handles the Grands Crus communication within the Vignobles André Lurton company and Béatrice is owner of Château Grossombre.
Lucien moved to Château Brane-Cantenac in 1954 with his wife, Marie-Jeanne Duvoisin. Over the following 30 years he acquired a number of Bordeaux flagship properties including many classified growths. A great connoisseur and champion of the best terroirs, he distinguished himself for his defense of many parcels, sought after by gravel merchants when the vineyards were in major crisis. In 1992, he handed down his properties to his 10 children. Today, Denis has Desmirail (3ème Cru Classé Margaux), Henri has Brane-Cantenac (2ème Cru Classé Margaux), Marie-Laure has Villegeorge (Haut-Médoc) and La Tour de Bessan (Margaux), Sophie runs Bouscaut ( Cru Classé Graves) and Lamothe-Bouscaut (Pessac-Léognan) purchased in 1999, Gonzague looks after Château Durfort-Vivens (2ème Cru Classé Margaux), and also manages Château Domeyne in Saint-Estephe, which he acquired in 2006 with his wife, Claire Villars, as well as Domaine de Trinity in California which they co-own. Thierry is owner of Camarsac (Entre-deux Mers) and Bérénice is at the helm of Climens (1er Cru Classé Barsac).
Simone, married to Jacques Noël, had a boy and two girls, the youngest, Marie-Jeanne, has taken over at Château Franquinotte.
Dominique had two sons, Pierre and Marc, from his marriage to Hélène Lafitte. From his second marriage to Caroline Mauriac, he had two more sons, Thomas and Jérémie. Meanwhile, he developed Château Reynier and acquired another property in Entre deux Mers, Château Martouret, as well as Châteaux Millé and Colin de Pey in the Côtes de Bordeaux. In 1997, he handed down his estates to his four sons. Pierre is currently running Château Marjosse, his property in the Entre-Deux-Mers. He was also appointed manager and director of Château Cheval Blanc and Château d'Yquem. Marc took over Château Reynier and Château de Bouchet. Jérémie and Thomas have Château Martouret, Château Millé and Château Colin de Pey.
In 2009 the Lurton cousins, aware of the worldwide reputation of the Lurton name, decided they would communicate together.
To view the family members active in the business today, go to the Family Members page.