Château Lagrange: John-Lewis Brown

After Jean-Valère Cabarrus, another more familiar figure pops up in the story of Château Lagrange. Jean-Valère’s son married Elisabeth Brown, the daughter of John Lewis Brown (1769 – 1851), a wealthy trader who also owned, at one time or another, Château Brown in Pessac-Léognan and Château Cantenac-Brown in Margaux. Despite the estate’s admirable level of production, said in 1824 to have been 120 tonneaux per annum, it seems Jean-Valère was experiencing serious financial difficulties. As a consequence he sold the estate, and thus it passed from the hands of Cabarrus to those of his son’s father-in-law, John Lewis Brown, for the sum of 650,000 francs.

Château Lagrange

John Lewis Brown continued the work commenced by Cabarrus, although he concentrated on improving the chai rather than the vineyard. Sadly, however, he too soon realised the difficulties in running a large Bordeaux estate such as this; ultimately he was also forced to sell the property, in 1842, probably as his bank withdrew their backing. The new owner was Charles-Marie Tanneguy (1803 – 1867), Comte Duchâtel, an influential minister under Louis-Philippe I, the last French king. He bought the estate from Brown for 775,000 francs (some later publications say 840,000 francs, so take your pick on this figure).

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