Clos de l’Oratoire
The origins of Clos de l’Oratoire lie in the Peyreau estate, which was established by the Beylot family, a firm of négociants based in Libourne, in the middle years of the 19th century. The Beylot family have already cropped up in at least one other profile on this site, as this family of négociants – founded by Pierre Beylot in 1740 – didn’t shy away from buying their own vines and building suitably grand châteaux to accompany them. Jean-Pierre Beylot (born 1782), a grandson to the original Pierre Beylot, purchased Château Fonplégade in 1812, selling it four decades later.
The story of Château Peyreau begins not with these Beylots, however, but with Jean-Pierre Charles Beylot (1821 – 1909), who went by the name of Charles. He was a great grandson to Pierre, a son to Mathieu Beylot II (1790 – 1878) and a nephew to the aforementioned older Jean-Pierre. They all worked as négociants in the family firm, but it was Charles who has been credited with acquiring this particular parcel of land, with planting the vines, and with building Château Peyreau, which still stands today.
The Beylot Era
The Beylot family were seen to be in charge by the authors of the 1850 Cocks et Féret, which noted the existence of Château Peyrot (the spelling has varied considerably over the years), with an annual production of 30 tonneaux. This was our Charles Beylot, who was at the beginning of what would turn out to be an incredibly lengthy tenure. He had married Éléonore Eulalie Montouroy (1825 – 1900) and they already had two children by this time, Marie Thérèse Henriette (1845 – 1911) and Marie Catherine Hélène (born 1847), and a couple of years later they had a third, Jeanne Marie Charlotte Eulalie (1852 – 1915).
Of these three the second-born daughter Marie Catherine was the most relevant to this tale. She married François Henry Mathieu Marie Gaston Lacaze (born 1842) on June 23rd 1866. Marie would eventually inherit the château, although she first had a long wait, as Charles continued in charge for many decades. He was still going strong in 1868, by which time the annual production of wine at Château Peyrau (another spelling variation) was noted to be 25 to 35 tonneaux. And he was still there in 1874, when Château Peyraud (yet another variation, although this one stuck for a while) was producing 35 tonneaux per annum, climbing to 35-40 tonneaux in 1886.