The drive east along the D670, through the outskirts of Libourne in the direction of the town of St Emilion, is a microcosm of the battle between suburb and vineyard, one that rages throughout many wine regions in France. At the roadside there are petrol stations, electrical wholesalers, drive-in boulangeries frequented by hungry commuters and delivery drivers, not to mention quite a few stores the purpose of which I have never been able to identify. Yet even here, in this semi-industrial landscape, squeezed between the glass-fronted metal boxes, there are little parcels of vineyard, their existence dependent solely on the value that comes with having St Emilion on the label.
Eventually the landscape becomes more rural, or at least viticultural. The battle subsides, the victor Vitis vinifera (provided you are heading in the right direction, of course). Soon the land on either side of the road is blanketed with emerald-green vines, and as you approach the heart of the St Emilion appellation the buildings take on a grander and more stately air. One of the first such maisons to appear at the roadside, its château surrounded by voluminous cellars, is Château Pindefleurs.
As is the case with a number of properties gathered around the ancient town of St Emilion, Château Pindefleurs has a history stretching back many centuries. The origins of the estate appear to date at least to the early 17th century, when the land here was in the possession of the de Sèze family. Antoine de Sèze (died 1632) was the mayor of the town from 1625 until his death. Upon that event the property was passed to one of his four sons, probably the youngest, Pierre de Sèze. He bequeathed it to his own son, after which it came into the hands of a nephew, Paul Romain de Sèze. Given that the de Sèze family tree is large and sprawling, with many branches, I am not at all certain that this was the same Paul Romain de Sèze (1714 – 1787) who also owned Château Berliquet.Please log in to continue reading: