History of Château de France

Château de France was constructed on the foundations of an old manor, the attractive arched cellar of which still exists today… a mansion constructed at the end of the 17th century by the prosecutor Philippe Decoud.
From the jurisdiction of Gardère to the jurisdiction of France ?

The château has preserved the name of the former locality on which it was constructed. It is probable that the land of “de France” was previously only a part of the jurisdiction of Gardère. The actual domaine de France, was in effect, before 1681, a group of small parcels, united in the 16th century by Marseau Dubasque and Jean de Latreilles. Indeed historic records show that in 1648, husbandman, Marseau Dubasque purchased parcels of land from barrel carpenter, André Dejean.

It was a councillor of the Parliament of Guyenne, Taffard, who developed the vineyard of the Château de France during the 18th century at an important time: that of the creation of the qualitative notion of grand cru. As a result, he thus followed in the footsteps of another family of parliamentarians, the Pontacs in Haut-Brion, which explains the development of the Graves growing area, southwest of Bordeaux in the 18th century.

Notoriety at the end of the 19th century

Jean-Henri Lacoste, a merchant in furniture fabric, and owner of the domaine for 32 years, created the existing château: following the purchase in 1862 of this 25-hectare property which didn’t bear the name of the château, but simply that of domaine or land, he took charge of the estate. He obtained its recognition as a grand cru from wine critics such as Ferret who after neglecting it in his 1850 publication finally mentioned the château in the following volumes. J.H. Lacoste extended the size of the domaine by acquiring several pieces of land: part of a field in Noaillac and a prairie situated in Gardère, belonging to the Griffon family (owners of the future Fieuzal and Haut Gardère!).

The new architecture of Château de France

The 19th century is also the era of appearances. During this period domaines switched to the appellation of château, and great domaines started to appear. It was at this time that Jean-Henri modestly renovated his old mansion: he eliminated the wings in the form of a “u”, added small pavilions at each end, and created a second story.

During the 20th century, the domaine, like most of the Grave Grands Crus for over 50 years, kept its distance with the Bordeaux wine industry, from 1920 through to the 1970’s.