Château Fonréaud Cover Image

A brief history

Fonréaud, a name derived from a legend as well as a location on the roof of the Médoc, already make this property an exceptional place. “Fonréaud”, formerly “Font-réaux”, means “Fontaine Royale”. Indeed, legend has it that in the 12th century, the King of England and husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henri II Plantagenêt, stopped there to quench his thirst at a very cool spring. It still exists in our park.
The current cellars were built in the 17th century, then redesigned over time. The castle replaced the original farmhouse, when in 1850 Henri Le Blanc de Mauvezin, then owner, decided on its construction. Completed in 1855, the castle, built to plans by the Bordeaux architect Garros, will seduce you with its extremely elegant architecture.
In 1962, Léo Chanfreau, winegrower in Algeria, returned with his family to Metropolitan France. He then visited many properties and then fell in love with Fonréaud. Everything has to be redone: the vineyard has only 17 hectares of very old vines and the venerable wooden vats of the vat room are doomed to destruction. Léo enthusiastically embarks on this new challenge. He replanted the vines, built the concrete vat room, which we still use today, and undertook major work in the castle, including the south wing, which he was rebuilding stone by stone. Victim of a tractor accident in 1970, he left his work unfinished. His father, Marcel, Chanfreau, who resides at Château Lestage, then takes over until Jean, then a child, decides to come and settle in Listrac upon completing his studies as an agricultural engineer.
Today, Jean, Marie-Hélène and Caroline Chanfreau-Philippon live this vineyard with passion and refine each vintage with the ambition of making elegant, fine wines combining fruit, roundness, with a good ability to age. Jean Chanfreau, manager of the estate since 1978, at the age of 20, moved to Fonréaud in 1981. In 1985, work began on finishing the château and optimizing the vineyard. They will last six years during which Jean and Marie-Hélène will have the pleasure of seeing the birth of four children: Guillaume (1984), Loïc (1986), Tiphaine (1987) and Juliette (1991). In 1983, Château Fonréaud was recognized by the profession by becoming a member of the Bordeaux Wine Academy and of the closed circle of the Union des Grands Crus.
Like an amphitheater, the vineyard faces the castle since the origins of the cru. Only the creation of appellations of controlled origin split it between the Listrac-Médoc appellation and the Moulis en Médoc appellation. Its vines occupy the highest point of the Médoc (43 m) as well as its gravelly slopes. On these magnificent gravelly slopes are produced a Listrac, the Château Fonréaud, and a Moulis, Château Chemin Royal, but also a white Bordeaux, Le Cygne de Fonréaud, which is a delight for lovers of great white wines. The vine is cultivated with the greatest respect for the plant and the environment according to the precepts of the Cousinié Method.
Our terroir occupies a privileged position because it belongs to the high terrace of the Médoc gravel. Ideally located halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary, this terrace of Pyrenean gravel overlooking the Medoc provides the vineyard with a unique micro-climate and ideal drainage conditions. These elements are decisive for the maturation and quality of the grape. Mosaic of gravel soils resting on an Oligocene clay-limestone base, depending on their nature, our terroir sites are planted with classic Médoc grape varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape variety of choice for dry and deep gravel soils, is the soul of our wines with its aromas of black fruits, its impetuosity and its structure. The Merlot, planted on slightly more nourishing soils, brings fruitiness, smoothness and delicacy. Le Petit Verdot, at ease on warm soils, delivers intense color and spicy notes.

Château Fonréaud Wines

Featured Wines

Château Fonréaud Château Fonréaud Cru Bourgeois Bottle Preview
Château FonréaudChâteau Fonréaud Cru Bourgeois

The name Fonréaud that used to be spelt “Font Reaux” means “Royal Spring”. According to the legend, a king of England stopped on this spot in the XIth century to quench his thirst at a spring that he found there. But perhaps the name is owed simply to the existence of a pleasant cold-water spring in the park. Henri Le Blanc de Mauvesin built the chateau in 1855 according to plans drawn by the architect Garros. It will charm you by the elegance of its architecture. Leo Chanfreau bought the estate in 1962. Today Jean and Marie-Helene Chanfreau and Caroline Chanfreau-Philippon are carrying on his work. Year after year, the vineyard has been improved: the Cabernet Sauvignon produces a very classical wine, the hint of Petit Verdot adds spicy notes and intensifies the fruity taste of the Merlot. This great wine, Crus Bourgeois Supérieur and member of the prestigious Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, has a true character.

Château Fonréaud Le Cygne de Fonréaud Bottle Preview
Château FonréaudLe Cygne de Fonréaud

Created at the beginning of the 20th century by the Vicomtesse de Coulogne, the vineyard of Château Fonréaud produced, already at the time, a famous dry white wine. Called “Le Cygne”, emblem of the family who built the castle, he wore, like the other white wines of Listrac-Médoc (“Le Merle Blanc” of Château Clarke and “La Mouette” of Château Lestage), a bird’s name . At the end of the 1950s, climatic hazards led to the disappearance of these white vines. Since 1989 we have tried to reconnect with tradition by resurrecting this small vineyard.

Château Fonréaud Légende de Château Fonréaud Bottle Preview
Château FonréaudLégende de Château Fonréaud

The name Fonréaud that used to be spelt “Font Reaux” means “Royal Spring”. According to the legend, a king of England stopped on this spot in the XIth century to quench his thirst at a spring that he found there. But perhaps the name is owed simply to the existence of a pleasant cold-water spring in the park. Henri Le Blanc de Mauvesin built the chateau in 1855 according to plans drawn by the architect Garros. It will charm you by the elegance of its architecture. Leo Chanfreau bought the estate in 1962. Today Jean and MarieHelene Chanfreau and Caroline Chanfreau-Philippon are carrying on his work. Year after year, the vineyard has been improved: The Cabernet Sauvignon produces a beautifully structured wine and the Merlot gives it very nice fruit. La Légende, second wine of Château Fonréaud, shows the character of its terroir, with its well-balanced fruitiness and its well-rounded palate.

Château Fonréaud Clos des Demoiselles Bottle Preview
Château FonréaudClos des Demoiselles

Clos des Demoiselles matures its 4 hectares of old Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the south slope of the Puy de Menjon, highest point of the Medoc. After belonging to the same family since 1820, Jean Chanfreau bought the estate in 2002. He has since risen to the challenge of expressing the unique character of this deep Pyrenean gravel terroir. Jean and Marie-Helene Chanfreau vinify with passion the produce of this tiny vineyard, planted mainly with Merlot, in order to express the finesse and the balance of its wine.