A long history

THE COUFFRAN ESTATE

The dovecote dates back to the Ancien Régime and in the 18th-century archives of Jacques Baurein, it is referred to as the noble house of “Cousran”. Many families have come and gone, but the best known is the family of Baron of Brane, known as the “Napoleon of the Vines”, who imposed Cabernet as the main grape variety in the Médoc region.

After the revolution, Jean-Valère Cabarrus, a ship-owner and wine merchant who already owned other prestigious wine estates, acquired Château Couffran.

At the end of the 19th century, the Célérier family, wine merchants in Bordeaux, took advantage of the success of Bordeaux wines and economic development in winemaking, by investing in the Médoc wine region and buying Couffran. They also decided to carry out major renovation work on the Château, creating its definitive architecture.

The acquisition by Louis Miailhe in 1924 was an important step. It was Louis Miailhe who then decided on the definitive spelling of “Coufran”, as well as undertaking major redevelopment work on the vineyard, planting mainly Merlot Noir, a rounder, more charming variety which was highly appreciated at the time.

 

THE MIAILHE FAMILY

The family originated from Tarn et Garonne and moved to Portets in the Graves region, before Bordeaux. They were known as wine brokers. The first to start out in the profession was Elie, appointed as a Royal Broker by letter patent in 1793 (source: departmental library).

The brokerage firm of the same name began only in 1818 (source: family history). Successive generations went on to work in the profession without interruption. Jean Miailhe was the last to earn his living from this activity, before stopping in 1970.

The first member of the Miailhe family to become a winemaker in the middle of the 19th century was Frédéric (Château Siran), by a happy coincidence in his private life: his marriage.

Later, during the major winemaking crises from the 1920s through to the 1950s, his two sons Louis and Edouard complemented their brokerage work by investing in other Médoc wines.

After the sale of Pichon Contesse by May Eliane de Lencquesaing (Edouard’s daughter), the last winemaker in this family line was his nephew Edouard Miailhe, at Siran.

As for Louis’s descendants, only his son Jean continued in winemaking, at Coufran then at Verdignan. Since the 80s, his two children Marie Cécile Vicaire and Eric Miailhe have taken over.