A locally-produced wine, Château Tirecul La Gravière 2018, was chosen as the dessert wine at the Nobel Prize banquet in Stockholm last December. Over 1000 people attended the banquet including the King and Queen of Sweden.

The wines for the banquet are carefully selected by wine experts and top chefs. Details of the selection remain confidential until they are announced at 7pm on the day of the banquet. What a proud moment for Bruno Bilancini of Château Tirecul La Gravière in Monbazillac for his 2018 “Premier Cru” wine as well as for the Bergerac wine region itself.

Following a review in 1997 by the influential wine critic Robert Parker, Château Tirecul La Gravière gained wide recognition outside of France, especially in the USA, the UK and northern Europe. The vineyard has always been lesser-known in France.

With only 9 hectares of vineyards, Château Tirecul La Gravière focuses on quality over quantity and produces just three sweet, one dry white and two sparkling wines.

The miracle of Botrytis

When I went to visit Château Tirecul La Gravière, Bruno explained to me all about the miracle of Botrytis. Botrytis, otherwise known as Noble Rot, is the fungus that grows on the Monbazillac grapes in a relatively small area situated on the north-facing slopes above Bergerac. This small zone has specific climate conditions such as altitude, distance from the river, the morning mist and afternoon sunshine, all of which play an important part in the development of Noble Rot.

Mandarin juice

Monbazillac wine is well-known for being paired with Foie Gras or a blue cheese but it also pairs well with citrus fruits. I particularly like Bruno’s idea of serving a sweet wine with a reduction of Mandarin juice on vanilla ice cream, a chicken kebab, scallops or with a creamy chicken curry.

Château Tirecul La Gravière wines are available to buy at the vineyard itself as well as in the Intercave and Julien de Savignac wine shops in the Dordogne. The wines are easy to find in the UK (Lea & Sandeman in London, Boutinot all over the UK and Raeburn Fine Wines in London and Edinburgh).

It is possible to visit the vineyard between 9am – midday and 2 – 5pm without an appointment but it’s best to call beforehand.

Tel: 05 47 77 07 60


Bruno’s English is very good.

Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation. L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé. A consommer avec modération.


©Nobel Prize Outreach

Photo credit: Clément Morin

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Château de Monbazillac