Images from Chateau Sainte Barbe


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Le Huret, Alderney
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Chateau Sainte Barbe


Chateau Sainte Barbe was built between 1760 and 1770 by Jean-Baptist Lynch. The Lynch family arrived in Bordeaux at the end of the 17th Century, fleeing religious persecution in Ireland. The family owned several wine merchants and Châteaux and reached the highest positions in Bordeaux society. Jean-Baptiste Lynch himself became Mayor of Bordeaux between 1809 and 1815.

Lynch was first a Bonapartist and was at the head of the Bordeaux delegation to the christening of the King of Rome, Marie Louise's and Napoleon's son. After Napoleon's defeat, Lynch quickly became a royalist, but when Napoleon returned from the Island of Elbe and realised that his good friend had betrayed him, he issued orders for Lynch's capture and condemned him to death.

Fortunately Lynch fled, Napoleon's comeback was short-lived and once the British sent Napoleon to St Helène, Jean Baptist Lynch came out of hiding. Louis XVIII subsequently named him Count and Lord of France.

It was probably Victor Louis, the French architect, who built Château Sainte Barbe. The house is located on the banks of the Garonne with magnificent views over the river. The house is built above the cellars which are on the ground floor where the wine barrels were stored. They could be rolled out by hand to the river bank to be loaded onto vessels bound for England and Northern Europe.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Château Sainte Barbe was part of the Apellation de Montferrand known as 'Les Palus de Montferrand'. These wines were highly appreciated and traditionally ranked between the 3rd and 4th Cru of the Medoc, and better known than Saint Emilion's wines at the time.

The vineyard became very profitable at the end of the 19th century during the phylloxera plague which destroyed much of Bordeaux's vineyards at the time. One of the early solutions found for the plague was to flood the vineyard for 4 to 6 weeks each winter. The situation of Sainte Barbe so close to the river made it an easy solution.

After Mr Lynch's death, the estate remained in the same family for more than 150 years.

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