We are a family owned vineyard with those values at the core of our work
After 30 years of living in London, Laurent and Blandine Metge-Toppin embarked on a journey of a lifetime by buying Château de l'Hestrange in the heart of Beaujolais, where both their families originate.
Today, they are supported by their five children and the estate manager and winemaker.
Born in Provence to a family dedicated to the wine industry, who have for centuries been wine growers, wine merchants, cask makers and estate owners, Laurent has wine in his blood and making a career in the industry seemed like a natural path.
In 1982, Laurent graduated as an Oenologist from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie de Montpellier. From 1982 to 1996 he worked in the wine trade in Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Germany and London.
He passed WSET Diploma in 1991 while living in London. After 15 years in the wine courting, he turned to winemaking when an encounter with Khun Chalerm Yoovidhya, owner of Siam Winery (Thailand) and founder of Red Bull Energy drink asked him to help develop Siam Winery located near Hua Hin, southern Thailand. For 10 years, he brought his passion and faith to what was at the time considered as a “crazy” challenge to place Thailand on the world wine map. He is considered today as one of the pioneers of the wine industry in Thailand and successfully helped to make Siam Winery the leading winery in South East Asia. When he left in 2007 to develop Château de l'Hestrange, Thai wines were being exported in more than 30 countries around the globe. Laurent became known as the 'Flying Winemaker' doing several world tours and visiting reputable wineries in the new and old worlds, learning about winemaking in different regions and promoting Thai wines.
After many years abroad, Laurent has built an impressive knowledge of world wines and uses this today to manage this family estate in the Beaujolais Hills, taking up a new challenge to revive the reputation and global image of Beaujolais wines, the region where his ancestors also worked with passion.
ESTATE AND FINANCE MANAGER
When she married Laurent in 1989, little did she know what she was letting herself in for. As a man of passion, driven by his ambition to own his estate in Beaujolais, she followed him first to London and then to the small town of Blacé to help him achieve this dream.
Blandine helps to run the estate by managing all its finances and accounts as well as providing insight on future developments of the estate.
Mickael joined the team in 2010. He graduated with a professional diploma in agricultural viticulture and oenology in 1992 and worked for more than 20 years in the field of viticulture where he acquired a unique experience.
Since joining the team, he has proved invaluable in overseeing the growth of the estate, ensuring that each plot is carefully managed in order to produce the highest quality wines. He brings great knowledge and skills to every stage of the winemaking process from the first plantation, to nurturing the wines, pruning, harvesting and winemaking.