Château d’Arsac: André Rulhe

The ensuing war and economic crisis sadly forced Albert’s hand, and in 1919 the estate was sold once more. The buyer was Victoire Célestine Ernestine Lassèverie, née Moussempez, a wealthy individual who owned numerous Bordeaux properties at one time or another; her extensive portfolio included Château Rieussec and Château La Tour Figeac, among others. At the same time she also bought 4 hectares of adjoining land, but this was the final expansion of the estate for some time. History was set to repeat itself, as ultimately the debts and loans proved too much even for Lassèverie, who was forced to let go of all her properties, including Château d’Arsac. It was thus sold at auction in 1920, the buyer the Société Anonyme des Grands Magasins de Nouveautés de Lille, a company headed up by André Rulhe. The gradual contraction of the estate continued, as by this time it was down to 285 hectares.

Château d'Arsac

With the economic crisis of the 1920s the vineyard shrank precipitously, from hundreds of hectares in the early 20th century to just 43 hectares in 1930 and 24 hectares in 1939. Despite this the property was still well ranked in the 1932 Cru Bourgeois classification, twice in fact, as both Château d’Arsac and Château Monteil d’Arsac. This was achieved even while Rulhe was busy pulling up vines; in a period of over-production economic depression, the compensation offered by the government for doing so was too much for him to ignore. At the same time he expanded the estate but with the purchase of woodland and pasture, in order to diversify the estate’s activities, reducing its dependence on viticulture and wine.

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