Château Lagrange: The Muicy-Louys Family

Charles-Marie Tanneguy Duchâtel died in 1867, and his widow Églé Rosalie Paulée (1817 – 1878), Comtesse Duchâtel, and son Tanneguy Duchâtel took charge. Within a decade, however, they had sold it to a Monsieur Louys who, if the authors of the 1883 Cocks et Féret are to be believed, was ready to rip up any unsuitable vines and do everything to improve the quality of the wine. Despite these admirable aims, it would not be long before the inevitable decline began. Within a year or two of the purchase phylloxera arrived in Bordeaux, and then during the early years of the 20th century there was war and depression. The domaine was huge, and difficult to manage under such circumstances. Nevertheless the family hung on, the domaine coming into the hands of a Monsieur A. Muicy-Louys and Mademoiselle C. Muicy-Louys, presumably father and daughter, or perhaps siblings.

Château Lagrange

The Muicy-Louys family utilised their huge vineyards as best they could, turning out a variety of wines under different labels to make sales. These labels included Cabarrus, Clos des Chartrons, Château Saint Julien, Château la Tour du Roi, Le Manoir de Saint Julien and probably others. They also planted white vines, and began production of a white wine named Sirène de Lagrange. The level of production remained high, several hundred tonneaux per annum, but profitability was low. In 1918 the owners sold it to the Société Immobilière des Grands Crus, a consortium of négociants led by Ginestet, for a remarkable 12 million francs. They do not seem to have had the success they perhaps hoped for, and in 1925 they sold it to Manuel Cendoya, a viticulteur, and José Telleria, a Spanish industrialist, the former bringing the know-how and the latter the financial muscle.

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