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Chateau Les Conseillans For Sale

Whilst reading about the recent purchase of Chateau Mauvesin by the Barton family the other day I came across another château for sale: Chateau Les Conseillans. The château initially caught my attention due to the similarity of its name to that of Chateau La Conseillante in Pomerol. There is no historical connection between the two estates. La Conseillante takes its name after an enterprising lady – Catherine Conseillan, a Libourne iron merchant, who inherited the property in 1734. She was known as the dame de fer (the Iron Lady) and she pioneered the development of monocultural vineyards. I presume Les Conseillans takes its name after conseiller (the French word for advisors or counselors) and this estate also has a pioneer in its past . . .

Chateau Les Conseillans was the home of Jean Ribéreau-Gayon for 53 years. Jean Ribéreau-Gayon founded the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology in 1949 and discovered malolactic fermentation together with Emile Peynaud. Together they are known as the founders of modern oenology. Jean’s father Ulysse Ribéreau-Gayon worked as Louis Pasteur’s assistant in the 1880s and Jean’s son, Pascal (who died earlier this year) is credited with pioneering research into phenolics and anthocyanins in grapes, and into the structural and qualitative differences between hybrid and vitis vinifera vines.

Les Conseillans lies in the commune of Saint-Caprais-de-Bordeaux and the vineyard can be dated back to the 17th century. The Directoire-style chateau was built at the end of the 18th century. The estate covers 20 hectares and is surrounded by streams, springs and woods that have been registered on the French list of classified sites due to the variety of species that make up the forest. The Premières Côtes de Bordeaux and Cadillac vineyard is currently planted with 6 hectares of vines. The grapes planted are 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc and Malbec (5.4 hectares). The remainder is planted white vines, 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc.

Not surprisingly the estate has a big price tag (around 2, 650,000 million euros) but given its connections to Jean Ribéreau-Gayon and the correct marketing it could be well worth it.

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4 Responses to Chateau Les Conseillans For Sale

  1. Bruce Jackson says:

    Dear Nick:
    Thank you for your note on Chateau Les Conseillans. My wife and I bought the Chateau last September around the date of your blog. We were both taken by the beauty and history of the place and the role of Jean Ribereau-Gayon. We are in the process of restoring the property and are taking care to preserve to its heritage, particularly the significanr contributions of the Ribereau family to Bordeaux and oenology.
    Bruce Jackson

    • Nick says:

      Hi Bruce, many thanks for getting in touch. Glad to hear that Les Conseillans has found passionate and sympathetic new owners! Wishing you both good luck and much success in your wine making!



  2. Bruce Jackson says:

    Dear Nick,
    I wanted to reiterate my invitation to visit us at Chateau Les Conseillans during your next visit to Bordeaux. My wife and I have completed the first phase of renovation and we are fairly happy so far. The Ruizes have just bottled their final year as custodians of the Riberau estate, and Madame Ruiz assures me that 2010 was a very good year for them. ( My personal view is that their 2009 was about as good as Cote de Bordeaux gets.But I will defer to your more informed taste.) As it turns out, I am waiting for Dominique Riberau-Gayon to arrive in a few minutes to fill me in on the illustrious, albeit complex, history of his family.

    • Nick says:

      Dear Bruce,

      That’s very kind of you, thank you very much. I’d love to call in when I am next in Bordeaux and will get in touch to let you know nearer the date. I am very glad that the renovation is coming along nicely. Les Conseillans is obviously in good hands! Are you planning to set up a website for the chateau – given its history it would be a good idea? Please keep us posted on your progress!