What is a Château?

August 21, 2023 by
Maytte Rivera

In wine terms, a château refers to an estate or vineyard; however, in France it can be used to describe a castle or country house.  During the 13th and 14th centuries, these thick-walled castles were arranged on hills usually close to the river valleys and used as defense forts. By the 17th century, most of them had been turned into residential compounds for nobility and other wealthy families. 

The term is used widely in the Bordeaux region to describe a vineyard with a castle-like structure on premises, as is the case with Château Greysac.  Other areas in France also use the word with a similar meaning, like Château Monfort in Loire Valley and Château D’Esclans in Provence.  Wine growing estates around the world have adopted the term and we can now find it in labels as Chateau St. Michelle from Washington state.

Author: Maytte Rivera

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