Cognac Le Maine Castay
Marcellin Leroy, the creator of the Maine Castay, was born in 1884 in the Pas-de-Calais.
This blacksmith's son came to work for the Société Nationale des Poudres et Explosifs in Angoulême in the 1910s, and then in the 1920s created a small workshop to repair electric motors.
Thanks to his inventive spirit and leadership qualities, he quickly transformed it into a powerful factory. From the 1930s onwards he wanted to apply his talents to the creation of an experimental farm: clearing, planting, construction of networks, roads, paths, fences, bridges, canals, ultra-modern buildings, avant-garde equipment, etc.
A fruitful exchange took place between the factory and the farm: the factory brought in its workforce, especially during the years of occupation when farm workers, unlike industrial workers, were not subject to compulsory labour in Germany. The farm supplied meat, fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, cider and wine to the factory for the staff canteen.
In 1949 the construction of the distillery was completed and in 1954 the first cognac brandy was officially distilled on the estate. The quality of our eaux de vie quickly interested the Martell cognac house, which became and remains our main buyer.
In the 1950s, Léon Leroy, Marcellin Leroy's nephew, and Jean Castay, his son-in-law, took over the property. Then it was the turn of Louis Castay, his grandson. In 1987, Louis Castay had a new, highly sophisticated still built and from 1988 onwards began to age his best eaux de vie himself. In 1999, Pierre-Hervé Castay, one of Marcellin Leroy's great-grandsons, had the idea of selecting the best vintages and making several blends, three of which are already available for sale.
Today, as in the past, we practise agriculture by considering the vineyard and its surroundings as an ecosystem in which living diversity is the key. This is why we maintain the presence of old breeds of animals (cows, sheep) and why we try to bring back the red partridge to our vineyard. We attach particular importance to this: the presence of this beautiful but fragile bird, which has become our emblem, testifies to the quality of our cultivation method.
Maine Castay produces cognacs from the Fins Bois terroir; round, supple eaux-de-vie that age quite quickly.