Château Franc Mayne: The Middle Ages

The vineyards were at this time part of the cru La Gomerie, a huge estate covering more than 200 hectares to the north-west of St Emilion. The vines of this ancient cru were tended by Cistercian monks from the Abbaye de Faize, the remains of which today can still be seen on the edge of the hamlet of Faise (presumably the name has mutated a little over the years) in Lussac-St-Emilion. Founded in 1137 by monks who arrived here from the Abbaye de Cadouin, this institution thrived for many centuries. It was the Cistercians who, being of need of wine for their religious activities, appear to have fostered the development of viticulture and winemaking at La Gomerie.

Château Franc Mayne

Sadly the abbey at Faise and its associated buildings were largely destroyed during the French Wars of Religion that raged during the last few decades of the 16th century. The cloisters were rebuilt during the 17th century, but all that remains of the grand church next-door is the footprint of its foundations.

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