… Is the last remaining Belgian négociant-éléveur of French wines. Like the French négociant-éléveur, our mission is to choose (negotiate the purchase) each year, at the end of fermentation, raw wines from the various French wine-growing regions with good aging potential. And then elevate that wine to reflect the character and personality of the origin terroir, worth to carry the appellation of origin.
First: The choice of raw wines, just at the end of fermentation, from the various French wine-growing regions. The selection is made every year through successive blind tasting sessions, where several hundred samples are presented.
The new wine is brought to our caves under the old fortress of Namur, Belgium,where they will rest and age at a constant 90% humidity and 11 degrees C (52 degrees F).
The majority of the varieties are placed in our large inventory of French oak barrels; while a few are aged in steel.
Depending upon vintage, grape and terroir (origin), the master wine-smiths of Grafe Lecocq elevate, or raise, each to reflect the full potential and character of that region’s grape, soil, climate and growers’ care.
Once bottled, the wines are stored in the cellars under the Cathedral and Law Court of Namur. Along 500 meters of corridors, deep in the earth, the wines continue to enjoy a constant and ideal environment until the day before they are delivered to you.
Quality wine — especially one with Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) certification, needs time to develop once it has been bottled. Some wines even require several years to fully reveal themselves.
1879: Foundation of the company by Henri Grafé and his wife Léontine Lecocq.
1952: Jean-Loup Grafé joins the company, a third generation direct descendent and one of the company’s current managing directors.
1952: The title “Fournisseur Breveté de la Cour de Belgique” is granted by His Majesty King Baudouin, renewed by His Majesty King Albert II in 1993, and renewed by His Majesty King Philippe in 2013.
1995: Bernard Grafé, fourth generation, son of Jean-Loup, joins the company, and is today the managing director.
What sets us apart…
- Belgian leader in wine aging in oak barrels, with a capacity of more than 1200 barrels.
- A multi-generational team of 25 wine professionals.
- A large choice of more than 500 wines.
- A range of choice… affordable to aged, high-end, rare and fine wines.
- 125 years experience in French vineyards means that Grafé Lecocq has extensive knowledge of the terrain and special access to the fine quality of wine produced.
- Reasonable — small batch — purchase volumes, which allows us to choose specific wines that are sometimes available only in a very limited amount:
Wines of a much higher quality than average, but over-looked by buying houses with larger volume requirements.
Watch a short video of a recent event at Grafe Lecocq’s cellars in Namur, Belgium