Château Montrose: Mathieu Dollfus

Mathieu Dollfus acquired Château Montrose from the Dumoulin offspring and was, in contrast to the vendors, very interested in the estate. There was further significant investment and expansion under his tenure; he not only extended the chai and constructed new accommodation for the workers, he also built a well to provide fresh water. No doubt attracted by the employment benefits offered by the enlightened Dollfus, which included profit sharing and health care, both quite radical practices for the 19th century, it wasn’t long before there was a small but thriving community living around the château. The estate was home to a small village, the winery buildings now complemented by stables, farm buildings and avenues of plane trees, like those that still grace the little maze of paths (shown below) that lie behind the château to this day.

Château Montrose

Mathieu Dollfus even went so far as to construct a small railway to transport the wines from the cellars down to the river, where they rested on the newly-built landing stage before being shipped upstream to Bordeaux. And in 1887, shortly before his death, he continued his forward-thinking approach with the founding of a limited company for the purposes of managing the estate, the Société Viticole de Château Montrose, with Dollfus assuming the role of managing director.

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