Château Laroque: Decline and Fall
In the 1868 edition of Cocks et Féret the property is one of many listed in the commune, at the head of the deuxièmes crus (behind just three châteaux ranked as premiers crus), so this seems to have been a well regarded estate. The proprietor was noted to be the Marquis de Rochefort Lavie, presumably Germain, and the production was 200 to 300 tonneaux per annum, a remarkable volume which was several times larger than any other domaine in the commune. The authors describe the very picturesque position of the elegant château, at the summit of the slopes up to the Saint-Christophe plateau, looking out towards the Dordogne. No less impressive was the vineyard; there were at this time exactly 130.66 hectares of vines, spread across two communes, Saint-Christophe des Bardes and Saint Hippolyte. Thanks to the twists and turns of the côtes, the vineyard was noted to benefit from several different aspects.
The régisseur at this time was Paul Boisard, an enterprising gentleman who was also the mayor of Saint-Christophe des Bardes and the proprietor of Château Fonplégade. He was given much credit by the authors for the quality of the vineyard and wines. Unusually the cuvier, said to be one of the most remarkable in the region, also came in for high praise; measuring 26 metres by 16 metres it is large enough to hold 1,500 tonneaux, and comes complete with rolling presses mounted on railway tracks. Boisard clearly had some fine facilities to work with. Under his direction the proud Marquis was awarded a gold medal by the Société d’Agriculture for having the best-kept vineyard in 1872.Please log in to continue reading: