Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, four centuries of history
This is the work of centuries, undertaken by various families of owners who have striven to glorify the estate and the fame of its wines… It all began in the Middle Ages: the chateau’s porch and wall towers were built in the 13th century using the remains of very old stone from the village of Bommes. The first known owner, Lord Raymond Peyraguey, built a fortified keep around Peyraguey and then began to cultivate vines in 1618, convinced that the land offered exceptional potential. On 17 July 1742, the estate was purchased by Nicolas Pierre de Pichard, advisor to the King and president of the Bordeaux parliament, who expanded the vineyard to nearly 30 hectares.
On 22 June 1796, the estate was sold at auction to Mr Lafaurie and Mr Mauros, with the latter giving up his portion to Pierre Lafaurie not long after. Peyraguey was the favourite wine of King Alfonso XII of Spain, ‘buying a barrel at the fantastic price of 6,000 gold francs’. Under Pierre Lafaurie the elder, the vineyard gained a reputation for excellence. It was granted recognition in the official 1855 classification, where Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey was named a Premier Cru Classé, ranking second in the list.
In 1865, Count Duchâtel – the former Minister of the Interior – chose to modernise the technical winery facilities and renovate the chateau in Hispanic-Byzantine style. In 1917, the well-respected wine merchant Désiré Cordier was focusing on wine quality whilst others concentrated on volume. ‘Remarkable in its finesse, vigour and aromas, the wine produced on this estate is highly sought-after’, as is written in the wonderful volume Fine Wines of Bordeaux, published in 1939.
After restoring the estate to perfect condition, in 2014 the Suez group sold Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey to Silvio Denz, the CEO of Lalique. This businessman from Basel was particularly sensitive to the estate’s rich history and commissioned a study by the historian Roland Kissling, a meticulous artisan of the archives.
With Silvio Denz, a new chapter is beginning…
Renovation, an exercise in subtle style
It took four years of intensive work to enhance this magical site. The top priority was to preserve the location’s original identity and fit the aesthetics to the unique configuration of the existing buildings. This meant combining materials from the original era (giving the building its historical identity) with contemporary details setting it in the present.In order to preserve the soul of this historic building, Silvio Denz entrusted the renovation work to the talented interior designers Lady Tina Green and Pietro Mingarelli, who created the Lalique Maison collection of furniture and accessories. They have striven to pair the region’s raw and natural materials with subtly contemporary effects – Lalique crystal thus embellishes matt wood. As Pietro Mingarelli explains, this is decoration in measured touches: ‘This project required a long period of reflection. Our instinct was to sustain rather than transform its heritage. We had to feel the resonance of the place so as to adapt our vision to the buildings’ strict geometry. It was a difficult balance of tension between form and function.’ Similarly, the conservatory – a modern extension designed by renowned architect Mario Botta – does not adversely impact the harmonious beauty of the facade. Boasting a delicate metal frame, it blends into the decor, with the transparent glass walls serving to enhance the location’s restrained appearance.
“ We designed this location to be a temple to emotion and conviviality. Sauternes is the world’s most emotional wine, so it needed a prestigious address. We will do all we can to make sure that this address is Lafaurie-Peyraguey. To welcome, amaze, surprise... and create a precedent in lifestyle’s upper echelons. Creation and inspiration combined at the heart of fantastic terroirs ”