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Château Beaumont

Château Beaumont

The origins of Château Beaumont are relatively recent compared to some other properties on the Médoc. We only have to look back to the middle of the 18th century to find here a mix of fallow arable farmland, pasture and moorland, with not a vine to be seen. At this time the property was in the possession of Emmanuel-Félicité de Durfort (1715 – 1789), Duc de Duras, a French politician, diplomat and Maréchal de France. He presumably sold the land, as in 1772 it came into the hands of Henri Labarthe, who set about clearing and draining the land in preparation for the planting of vines. It was either he, or more likely the next proprietor named Bonnin, who actually planted the vines in 1824; whichever of the two protagonists was responsible, it was by their hand that the vineyard of the future Château Beaumont came into being.

The Bonnin Brothers

The property next came into the possession of Étienne Jean François d’Aligre (1770 – 1847), Marquis d’Aligre, a wealthy politician. He held onto it until his death in 1847, at which point it was acquired by the Bonnin brothers. These were clearly well-to-do siblings, as they were responsible for the construction of the château in 1854. This is a deceptive building, at first glance apparently low-key but it is in fact expansive, with elements reminiscent of the Mansard Renaissance style, flanked by rather exotic octagonal turrets and with an octagonal tower looking out over the courtyard, roofs and vines. Its construction surely suggests the Bonnin brothers were committed to the property, but curiously little more than a decade had passed before the estate changed hands once more.

Château Beaumont

Château Beaumont then passed through the hands of a number of distinctive individuals, starting with the Comte de Gennes who purchased it in 1860. Sadly I have not been able to uncover more detail regarding the identity of this count, although it seems he comes from a long and noble lineage dating back to at least the 8th century. After his death his wife inherited the property, after which it was sold to Jean Víctor Herrán (1803 – 1887), a doctor, diplomat and the French Minister for Honduras. He acquired it in 1872 and he maintained his hold on it for eighteen years (longer than the two preceding owners), selling it in 1890 to the French industrialist Joseph Germain. He invested in the property, expanding the vineyards to three times their original size, and building new cellars in 1894. He owned the estate for several decades.

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