Chateau de Ferrand Grand Cru Classe Saint-Emilion
The history of Château de Ferrand dates back to the 17th century and was forged in the grand tradition of the Bordeaux wine-growing estates, those that helped the region gain its illustrious reputation.
Like all the Grands Crus of Bordeaux, the estate has experienced periods of great prosperity – Louis XIV’s court flocked to Ferrand renowned for its parties – and much quieter periods. Mademoiselle de Scudéry, the French writer and close friend of Elie de Bétoulaud, spent time at Ferrand working on her poetry.
One of the oldest and most consistent estates in
Saint-Emilion, in 300 years Château de Ferrand has belonged to just two families; that of Elie de Bétoulaud, who passed the estate down to his descendant the Marquis de Mons and his heirs, and that of Baron Bich, founder of the famous Bic company. Nowadays the estate is managed by Pauline Bich Chandon-Moët, with help from her husband Philippe Chandon-Moët.
Château de Ferrand was honoured in 2012 by the INAO Classification Commission who ranked Château de Ferrand as a Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Emilion.
The remarkable estate boasts a stunning panoramic view over the Dordogne valley, superb architecture and the historic Grottes de Ferrand caves, hewn out of the stone as an eternal monument to the reign of Louis XIV, giving the estate its unique character. Built in 1702, the Château is a perfect example of beautifully preserved architecture and illustrates an aesthetic philosophy that combines balance with classicism.
The estate’s total surface area is 42 hectares in a single stretch, with 32 hectares of vines. Baron Bich’s family has a strong commitment to the quality of the wine coupled with an environmentally-friendly attitude.
The unique character of a Grand Cru Classé mainly comes from its exceptional terroir: with 32 hectares of vines made up of Merlot (75%), Cabernet franc (15%) and Cabernet sauvignon (10%) on an estate covering 42 hectares in total, Château de Ferrand is blessed with a complex terroir of outstanding potential.
Located on the outer edge of the limestone plateau, the far end of the estate overlooks a curve in the Dordogne valley.
The soil is well drained, thanks to channels that carry away excess water, and the rising currents of air sometimes manage to divert storms away from the estate. The vineyard’s altitude and exposure provide temperatures that are slightly cooler than those in the Saint-Emilion lowlands.
To produce wine of the highest quality, Ferrand’s terroir was mapped on a large scale (1:3000), providing a detailed profile of the variations in soil types in each plot as well as their distribution and properties. The vines are planted at altitudes ranging from 46 to 100m above sea level, making Ferrand one of the highest and best ventilated vineyards in Saint-Emilion.
The vineyard is composed of four different types of soil. They are all very different, but share one common feature: a relatively high concentration of clay. It is widely acknowledged that clay-rich soils in the Bordeaux region offer great winemaking potential.
The vinification facilities at Château de Ferrand were refurbished in 2009, respecting the site’s historical beauty and its 18th century architecture.
The harvested fruit is sorted in two stages, first by hand and then with an optical sorting system, before the grapes are gravity-fed into vats.
The vats are of various capacities so that the fruit from each plot can be processed individually, ensuring maximum traceability. The fruit from each batch is vinified and matured separately with the same attention to detail.
The wine is then transferred to barrels in a magnificent cellar and left for 12 to 16 months of maturing, with 50% of the French oak barrels replaced annually, sourced from the best coopers.
Throughout the vinification process each batch is regularly tasted and several potential blends are produced.
Commercial considerations have no place in the blending process, with the sole priority being to create fine wine of the highest quality. Achieving the best from every vintage involves placing human expertise at the service of nature, and not the other way around.
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