Madeleine Herbeau

Owner and Director
Château Barbebelle

Madeleine is a fourth generation Provencal winemaker, though initially her university
studies at the Sorbonne and Edhec Business School launched her into a marketing career
with Nestle in Paris.

It did not take her widowed father Brice long to lure her back to their 300 hectare estate
15 k north of Aix-en-Provence, convincing her that her business skills married to vineyard
management and winemaking duties could gain Chateau Barbebelle the recognition
it deserved.

Brice had come to support culture raisonee practices early on, and this also influenced
where certain grape varieties would grow best on his estate. It is by design that only
15% of their estate holdings are given over to several different vineyard plantings. The
geographic distinctions encountered at Barbebelle, such as soil composition, drainage
characteristics, woodlands serving as windbreaks, have been beneficially matched to the
optimum growth requirements that produce quality grapes from the following varieties:
a. Grenache Blanc
b. Grenache Noir
c. Syrah
d. Rolle
e. Ugni blanc
f. Cinsault
g. Cabernet Sauvignon

Immediately recognizing that Southern French rose was gaining increased worldwide
acclaim, Madeleine directed her efforts toward introducing three select pink cuvees for
which she made the blending – Cuvee Madeleine, Heritage Rose, and Rose Fleuri. Combined
with their classic red and white offerings Chateau Barbebelle now realizes fully 45%
of its sales going into export markets. Thus it was gratifying that the three of the Barbebelle
rose cuvees received 90, 88 and 87 points from Decanter Magazine, a sure indication
that they are on the right track. They also received two silver medals and one gold medals
from the Concours Général Agricole of Paris and 90 and 88 points from Wine Enthusiast.
When not tied to their tractor, crisscrossing the 45 hectares of vines on their 300 hectare
property, (utilizing “culture raisonnee practices”), Madeleine can still find the time to
partake her love of horse-jumping. Paris really had little chance of diverting her attention
from her roots in Provence.