Parking up at Château Rocheyron, I experienced a sense of unease. A certain feeling of self-doubt.
The question swirling around my mind was a simple one.
Was I actually at Château Rocheyron?
I had brought Twingo (if the mention of that name doesn’t spark any feelings of emotion in you, you need to read my 2022 Bordeaux primeurs reports) to a halt in a small parking square at the end of a rather anonymous building. With its white rendered walls, and stone detailing to the corners, they could, I thought to myself, be cellars. Newly built cellars at that, the stonework crisp, the paint still gleaming. But they could just as easily be someone’s fancy new tractor shed.
Stepping out and stretching my legs after a not particularly arduous drive from Château Croix de Labrie (a Rocheyron neighbour, lying 300 metres to the northwest), I surveyed my surroundings. Just behind me was a small football field, the grass already (in April) looking tired, a faded colour somewhere between yellow and green. At either end stood some unloved goalposts, the white paint disappearing beneath a coat of green mould. To call it a stadium would be pushing it, although to be fair there was a small pavilion on the far side, and the huge panel set across the two gateposts at its entrance did indeed declare it to be the stade-municipal.
And I had just driven beneath that sign to reach this parking square. So you can see why I might be confused. Was this stadium parking? Maybe this building housed the offices and changing rooms of leading French football team Saint-Emilion FC?
Only one way to find out, I suppose, and I trekked towards the little cluster of people standing at the far end of the cellars/tractor shed/changing rooms. One of them, I thought to myself, looked suspiciously like Peter Sisseck, one half of Château Rocheyron, the man with the savoir faire. The other half is Silvio Denz, the two men having come together to buy the property in 2010. Before we come to how these men met, and how they ended up buying this otherwise anonymous cru on the Saint-Christophe plateau, however, I first present some brief historical details on the estate.Please log in to continue reading: