Château Ferrière: Alexis Lichine

In 1921 Armand passed the estate on to his daughter, a Madame Durand, and with her passing the property was bequeathed to her children. The following year the property was profiled in the 1922 Cocks et Féret, although the image depicted is telling; there is no grand château, merely what appear to be some low-slung winery buildings, a scene that resembles a farmyard more than it does a leading Margaux estate. Indeed, Madame Durand’s children appeared to have no interest in the property, and during the following years it went through a period of significant decline. As a consequence in 1952 the Durand family entered into an agreement with Alexis Lichine (1913 – 1989), who took over the running of the vineyard.

Château Ferrière

What Alexis took on was a very small vineyard, with just 4.5 hectares of vines, making it one of the smallest classed growth properties on the Médoc. Indeed, I believe at sometime during the latter half of the 20th century, Château Ferrière held the title of smallest-ever classed growth estate. Alexis Lichine undertook the replanting of the vineyard between 1958 and 1964, and what fruit he picked was vinified in the cellars at Château Lascombes. The production was very limited though, the wine appearing only for specific big-spending clients. Depending on which author you read, it was either all sold to a well-known airline who poured it for their most high-flying clientele, or to a restaurant chain named Relais de Campagne. Perhaps it was sold to both.

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