Château Durfort-Vivens: Replanting

The eager Charles Louis Guillaume de Chastenet decided to undertake the replanting of his newly acquired vineyard, and reportedly opted for varieties that offered high yields, but perhaps also lower quality. The inaugural edition of Cocks et Féret, published in 1850, reveals that by this time production was up to 55 tonneaux per annum. As a consequence of his actions it seems tat the price at which the wines were sold dropped, and it was not long before Charles realised the error of his ways. In the end he began to replant once again, this time with more noble varieties. His father-in-law, Robert Adrien, who died in 1853, had presumably spent his twilight years watching on in despair.

Château Durfort-Vivens

Despite this apparently ill-thought-out plan and ensuing about-turn, just a couple of years later the estate was ranked as one of five deuxièmes crus in Margaux in the 1855 classification, drawn up for the Exposition Universelle de Paris, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce. The prices – a major determinant of the ranking – can’t have dropped that low, or perhaps by this time they had recovered.

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