Our Grands Crus Classés

Château Fombrauge

Grand cru classé Saint-Emilion

Fons Brogiera: a source surrounded by a land of heather ... This is how appeared for the first time the name of Fombrauge which embodies for six centuries the elegance of Saint-Emilion Grands Crus. From the Canolle family, back in the XVth century to Bernard Magrez in 1999, six families have followed the fates of Château Fombrauge, providing the Estate an unparalleled stability and an unsurpassed pioneer soul. The first harvest at Fombrauge occurred in year 1599. Discover the Grand Cru Classé largest area of Saint-Emilion and witnessed the history of France.

Exploring the estate

Château Fombrauge

Château Fombrauge Bernard Magrez

Saint Emilion grand cru classé

Château Fombrauge

Parcel selection per terroir, grape variety and age of the vines. Selection inside the parcels thanks to relevant information on maturity and vine strength provided by the drone. Harvest in small crates. Sorting on a table before and after destemming by 20 qualified people. Vatting in small capacity wooden tanks (70 hectoliters) by gravity flow. Pre-fermentation maceration for 4-8 days at 8°C. Manual punching down. Maceration for 28-32 days for the Merlot, 26-28 days for the Carbernet. Aging for 18 months in 45% new oak barrels, 45% one year-old barrels, 10% in state-of-the-art ciment tank.

Château Fombrauge

Château Fombrauge is the largest Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion with a vineyard stretching on 58.60 hectares (143 ac.). It is its exceptional surface area that gives the soil a unique character... A typicity in diversity. Diversity of soils but also multiple exposures donate Château Fombrauge’s wine complexity and identity. 
To express the richness of this soil, Bernard Magrez combines in Château Fombrauge ancestral knowledge and viticulture of precision. The result? An exquisite wine, a Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion.

The first written mentions of Fombrauge date back to about six centurie ago. In 1466, a medieval squire, named Jacques de Canolle, declares himself Lord of Fombrauge after having acquired the property.

According to historians, his family is descendant of Sir Robert Knowles,an  illustrious English captain whose opponent was Du Guesclin, grand Seneschal of Guyenne who died in 1407. His grand-son, Peter Canolle, succeeded him in 1575. He was a man of knowledge and ennobled by its treasurer of France responsabilty and became burgher of the city of Bordeaux. He rapidly started working to grow his land by planting the first vines... On the eve of the seventeenth century, Fombrauge Estate is transmitted by alliance to the Dumas family and from this day on, will therefore be called Dumas of Fombrauge.

At the end of this century, the advisor Dumas of Fombrauge then owner and active member of the Bordeaux "Nursery" physiocrat club is involved body and soul in qualitative development of Château Fombrauge.
The club created in 1760 became a real school of application for agriculture. The vineyard of the current Château Fombrauge therefore benefited from the knowledge of these talents as to ensure its development.

Specialists started following the vineyard growth and applying the most modern technical practices at the time, on the vines, plots selection and vinification. 

From now on, their success will be exceptional. But this is when the French Revolution occurs. In 1794, the descendant of Jacques Dumas was guillotined and the area became national property until 1808, until when the children of the deceased were able to assert their rights on the property. They will finally give in Château Fombrauge to Ferdinand de Taffard. With him, Château Fombrauge won the gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1867. A consecration ...

More than a century later, in 1987, Château Fombrauge is assigned to a large Danish trading house for 12 years, which will limit the sales of Fombrauge wines to the Scandinavian markets.

In 1999 Bernard Magrez, a visionary entrepreneur acquires the Château. Thus began an era of wide-scale works on the Estate... Mister Bernard Magrez's acquisition of Fombrauge brought new perspectives for this Grand Cru de Saint-Emilion in terms of product quality and expertize, and in terms of restructuring the vineyard, the cellar, the reception facilities, the charterhouse and gardens. 
In September 2012, the Château received the highest award for the Saint Emilion appellation when it was officially classified as a Grand Cru Classé, the crowning glory for all the hard work and investment undertaken to improve the estate.

From vineyard to cellar
Château Fombrauge

Château Fombrauge is the largest Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion with a vineyard stretching on 58.60 hectares (143 ac.). It is its exceptional surface area that gives the soil a unique character... A typicity in diversity. Diversity of soils but also multiple exposures donate Château Fombrauge’s wine complexity and identity. Soil diversity, of course, because it is composed of asteriated limestone from the Tertiary, white clay and white molasses rocks, but also because of its multiple exposures that gives the wine its complexity and identity.
It is indeed the almost only Estate to benefit from the added-value of its large surface. The combination of different soils gives the quality and specificity of Château Fombrauge’s wine too. But the richness of the land wouldn’t be anything without the use of precision techniques. Bernard Magrez gave to the Estate the use of more advanced technologies such as a drone, an extremely effective tool to properly conduct the vines and vineyard.

Né à Villandraut en 1264, Bertrand de Goth est nommé le 28 Mars 1295 évêque de Comminges, dans les Pyrénées, jusqu’en 1299, date à laquelle il est nommé archevêque de Bordeaux par le pape.

Along with the use of latest technology, Château Fombrauge works to ensure much of the work in accordance with the more traditional methods: use of animal traction and manual harvest in small crates. But this culture of precision and excellence in the vineyard is also found in the winery: sorting table before and after de-stemming; encuvage gravity wooden tubs; maceration; manual pigeages, running off into French oak barrels of which 50% are new. Thus, to carry out a high quality wine, Château Fombrauge has a wide variety of containers: wooden vats, cement tanks, stainless steel and terracotta jars. The use of these four types of containers allows at once to get the best expression of the fruit, while taking advantage of the tannic structure.
Similarly, plot selection and intra-plot follows up in the cellar, where the diversity of containers are used to make wine volumes from the barrel to the tank up to 90 hl. Those small and medium containers allow to isolate the most homogeneous lots, under the varietal, maturity and health of the grapes, the age of the vine.
Finally, the assembly of the grapes variety - essential step in Bordeaux - is implemented in close collaboration between the teams of Château Fombrauge and Michel Rolland, world-wide famouse oenologist- expert.


Château Fombrauge

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