Head Office33250, Saint-Julien Beychevelle, France
EstablishedDecember 15, 1983
Business activitiesProduction and sales of wines
Company Overview and Philosophy
Château Lagrange has long contributed to the development of "lifestyle culture" through the production of high quality wines. According to our records, this history goes back to at least 1631. Needless to say, quality wine is a true gift of nature, thanks to what we call terroir, a term used in the wine industry to refer to environmental factors including soil that can influence the quality of the wine. After joining the Suntory Group in 1983, we embraced the group philosophy, "To Create Harmony with People and Nature." In order to embody this, we always strive to produce one of the world's finest wines while respecting environmentally friendly production processes, from vine care to bottling.
Primary CSR Activities
To Create Harmony with Customers and Partners
Products and Services
Focusing on quality management and product safety
We believe that there are two aspects to "quality". One is the quality of the wine itself and the second is quality management in production processes. In terms of the quality of the wine, to ensure our vision of excellence and share that vision with our customers throughout the world, we use integrative farming techniques to produce truly excellent wines. We take meticulous care of each vineyard to let the grapes mature in an optimal manner and to draw out the best characteristics of the locality of the vineyard and the variety of grape. We fully engage in cultivation with reduced agricultural chemicals in which we only use the minimum amount of agricultural chemicals required at vineyards for the health of our customers.
Second is the quality management of manufacturing processes. We at Château Lagrange pursue rigorous quality control by appointing a quality manager to oversee quality control in all processes, from vine pruning to product shipment. In 2007, we installed a state-of-the-art bottling line to prevent broken glass, insects, or other foreign objects from entering the bottles. We provide safe and attractive products by rigorously conducting a variety of processes, record keeping, and checks that involve quality management.
Better product analysis and traceability
At Château Lagrange, we have great respect for the traditional sales system unique to fine Bordeaux wines, the Place de Bordeaux. In this system, wine merchants purchase wines mainly during the En Primeur (Futures) offer period in particular. It makes it difficult to maintain traceability of wines and attain direct responses from customers as products are pass from merchants to customers. Therefore, to make our products more traceable, we have introduced code numbers on bottle cap seals. Our products undergo a wide variety of product analyses during the manufacturing process and records are kept of the results. We inspect the materials used in all wines, corks, bottles, labels, and cases, and record the results along with these code numbers so that we can trace the history of every bottle of wine we produce.
Relations with Customers
Interacting with Customers and Partners
The En Primeur (Futures) system unique to Bordeaux makes it difficult for producers to have direct contact with consumers. However, wine merchants organize many wine tasting events all over the world, allowing us to directly communicate with wine lovers. Maintaining an excellent relationship with our partners—around 120 wine merchants in Bordeaux—allows us to use a worldwide promotional network to deliver wine to our customers around the globe.
We welcome about 7,000 visitors every year. Visits are on appointment bases and oenologists, sommeliers, chefs, engineering and business school personnel, wine connoisseurs, and wine writers who come for tours and wine tastings. We welcome not only professionals but anyone who loves wine to see the Bordeaux Grand Cru Wine making process while touring the vineyard, fermentation facilities and the warehousing of our aging barrels.
Supplying healthier and reliable products
To help our customers lead healthy lives, we have been carrying out research in conjunction with ten other wineries aimed at reducing the use of pesticides at our vineyards and elsewhere.
To Create Harmony with Nature
ISO14001 and HVE certification by the French Ministry of Agriculture
Château Lagrange received Terra Vitis certification for ecological integrated agriculture in 2005. We have furthered our activities and received ISO 14001 Environmental management system standard and the highest Level 3 in High Environmental Value (HVE) certification from the French Ministry of Agriculture in 2017. These certifications require compliance as annual aduit for detailed and strict standards regarding biodiversity, plant disease and pest control measures, fertilizer and irrigation management, etc. These certify that we are producing high-quality grapes in a way that protect the environment and health of the workers as well as in a biologically sustainable method.
We have also been cultivating grapes using organic farming methods on a roughly 10 ha area of vineyard from 2008 and has been comparing status with area that has received HVE level 3 certification until this today.
Amount of water usage reduced
Château Lagrange has been working to protect our water resources by determining how much water we use, using it better, and engaging in rigorous conservation efforts.
Reducing CO2 emissions to help combat global warming
Château Lagrange S.A.S. is one of five environmentally-friendly wineries in France that began measuring the CO2 emissions. We always strive to revise the production process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, in 2007 we reduced electricity consumption by 8.5% by modifying our fermentation process. Moreover, 800 m2 of solar panels installed on the roofs of the fermentation facility in 2019 supplies about 15% of power used at the winery.
Promoting reuse and recycling of materials
We compost pruned vine branches and the pressed skins remaining after fermentation to reduce the quantity of fertilizer we purchase.
Also, Château Lagrange promotes the 3Rs in resource conservation throughout its operations, utilizing used wine casks, empty chemical product containers, and other materials in an effective manner. In 2011, we stopped using plastic packaging film previously used in the procurement of wine casks. We have received the ISO14001 certification in 2017 due to our continued consideration for the environment and improvements.
Preservation of Biodiversity
We strive to cultivate grapes in a sustainable manner while preserving diversity of species by adopting hedge and dense growth cultivation at vineyards. Considerations are always made about the diversity of microorganisms in the land, such as placing cut weeds between grape vines as green manure completely free from pesticides and herbicides. A French garden known for the use of colorful plants, pond where wild birds rest, and forest where small critters live along each other stretch in front of the château. There are bee nest for beekeeping in the premises and honey bees fly about from spring to summer.
To Create Harmony with Society
-Cultural and Social Contributions-
Relations with the Local Community
Public relations activities
Château Lagrange has a dedicated public relations manager and staff who organize and participate in events attended by various organizations, journalists, sommeliers, and wine schools, helping them to understand the secrets of our terroir and our pursuit of quality.
Actively involved in the local community
Participating in charity auctions, providing donations to local sporting event organizations, and hosting music festivals in the château grounds are some of the ways that Château Lagrange is actively involved in the local community. We supported the construction of the La Cité du Vin wine complex that opened in June 2016 which is shaping the Bordeaux, the holy land of wines worldwide, in cooperation with other châteaus. The Château Lagrange also helps local communities in other ways, such as supporting the internationally-famous Medoc Marathon by supplying water stations for the approximately 8,500 runners who participate each year.
Relationship with Employees
Creating employee-friendly workplaces
Château Lagrange S.A.S. works to respect the rights of employees by putting in place internal employee unions. This is very unusual standard French companies which rarely connect employees throughout the company. This organization follows-up with internal events in order to deepen the friendliness between employees.
Guaranteeing safety and staying healthy
Our Health and Safety Committee is responsible for ensuring employees' safety in the workplace, for example, with regards to equipment and tool inspections, verification of workplace ergonomics, product handling, safety testing, and wearing of safety gear such as shoes, hearing protection, and safety goggles. Also, the committee helps the employees manage their health by offering regular medical checkups.