At the end of the 1970s, François Mitjavile took charge of the property that his wife Emilie had inherited from her father. The vineyard, which at that time was known as Château du Tertre, had long since lost its prestigious reputation. And yet vines had a long history of being grown there, dating back to Roman times. The residence and the winery date from the end of the 17th century. Furthermore, the property is listed in the 1929 edition of the Féret guide, the bible of Bordeaux's vineyards. François Mitjavile renamed the property Le Tertre Roteboeuf, adding the name of one of the plots on which the vineyard was planted to the original name: Roteboeuf in old French refers to the trouble that oxen had climbing the steep, dry hill.
The 6-hectare vineyard of Tertre Roteboeuf is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The vines are located in the southeastern sector of Saint Emilion. They are not far from Chateau Troplong Mondot, Chateau Larcis Ducasse and Chateau Pavie.
The terroir is a hillside slope with limestone and clay-based soils in one large block. The hillside elevation offered great, natural drainage. Due to a combination of personal preference and their naturally cooler terroir, Tertre Roteboeuf is usually one of the last estates to finish harvesting in Saint Emilion.
Even though they start picking later than most estates in the region, because they usually complete their harvest over just a day or so, instead of picking over an extended period of time, they are able to retain the freshness needed in their fruit.