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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.