Château Petit Faurie de Soutard
Although many visitors to St Emilion will naturally be fixated on the town, and the many famous châteaux that are clustered in and around it, exploring the surrounding landscape will also pay dividends. Whereas the Médoc has one famed Route des Châteaux, known to mere mortals as the D2, which snakes its way past Château Palmer, Château Pichon Baron, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Cos d’Estournel and several dozen other cru classé châteaux, here around St Emilion there are perhaps several candidate routes. The one that heads west past Château Angélus and Le Dôme out to Château Cheval Blanc and Château Figeac would be one. And the road that runs along the foot of the Côte de Pavie, past Château Pavie, Château Larcis Ducasse, Château Tertre-Roteboeuf and the imposing Château de Pressac.
Head northeast out of the town, however, and you will find yourself gazing upon the majestic facade of Château Soutard, and later on Château Fombrauge and Château Valandraud. Before you reach these latter two châteaux, indeed just past the expansive grounds of Château Soutard, there sits another small château, completed with cellars separated from the road by little more than a very low hedge, and an even lower wall. While the modestly elaborate gateposts stand proud, the other buildings feel somewhat understated, a small stone-built maison, and some outbuildings which clearly serve as cellars. The location of the property, sandwiched between Château Soutard on one side and – just a little further down the road, and around the corner – Château Faurie de Souchard on the other – gives some clue as to the origins of the domaine. This is the third slice of the original Soutard estate, which was carved up to create three separate entities in the mid-19th century. This is Château Petit Faurie de Soutard.
In this profile I explore the history of Château Petit-Faurie de Soutard, before looking at the domaine today, the vineyards and winemaking, finishing up as always with my tasting notes. Much of the early history of the domaine is shared with Château Soutard and Château Faurie de Souchard, and thus it may already be familiar. If you wish to pick up the story at the moment this property was separated from the original estate, in 1861, turn to page three, while for the details of the vineyards and winemaking today turn to page four.