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Château Labégorce

Château Labégorce

Gorsse (or Gorce) is a very old family name from the Guienne area of southwest France that spread throughout the Médoc region in the Middle Ages. Several Gorsse families lived in Margaux and in neighbouring villages for centuries. It is thought that Abbot Gorce gave his name to this estate, and the 1868 edition of Ferret’s guide states that the Noble House of La Bégorce was founded in 1332 and it is described as one of the most beautiful and best placed châteaux in the village of Margaux. After the French Revolution however, what had been one of the Médoc's largest estates was ordered to be split up. It was divided into three separate estates, each with a different owner. Hubert Perrodo fell in love with Bordeaux, especially the Margaux region. While wine held a big interest for Perrodo, his real interest in Bordeaux developed after spending time in the area enjoying polo matches held at Château Giscours. He set out with the goal of reuniting all three pieces of the original Labégorce estate.

Gorsse De Gorsse was the smallest of the three pieces of land and it was the part of the property where the original château was located, situated on the gravelly soils of Margaux's highest knolls and surrounded by the most famous vineyards of the village. Hubert Perrodo purchased Gorsse De Gorsse in 2002, although he was only able to buy the the 17th century château and a small amount of land as the vineyards had been sold to Château Margaux.

Labégorce is the heart of the estate and the largest of the three sections of the original property. In its centre stands an elegant, Restoration-era, neo-classical mansion, the work of the architect Corcelles. When it was built the owner was Elisabeth Weltener, the widow of Jean Marcellin Bernard. It later passed into the hands of M. Capelle in 1832 and then to Fortuné Beaucourt in 1865. The vineyard continued to be lovingly tended and its wine earned a well-deserved reputation for being of the highest quality. The new owner of the estate had a strong character: he was twice mayor of Margaux and he kept a close watch on the village's interests. He undertook a great deal of renovation work on the château, managed by the architect Georges Minvielle. The estate was sold to the Rooryck family in 1918, then to the Condom family in 1965, before finally being purchased by Hubert Perrodo 1989.

The third part of the Labégorce estate was sold in August 1795 to the Benoist family, whose descendants, the engineer Gustave Zédé, Director of Ship Building and designer of the first French submarine (the Gymnote in 1888); and his brother, Vice Admiral Emile Zédé, added their illustrious name to the label. It then passed into the hands of the Bayers, and in 1961, to Jean Battesti, who replanted a part of the vineyard and strove to produce high quality wine. In 1979, Battesti ceded his property to the G.F.A. (Agricultural Land Group) of Château Labégorce Zédé. Its manager, Luc Thienpont, was a credit to the Margaux appellation and achieved recognition among the greatest connoisseurs for a wine of impeccable quality, a quality which earned its promotion to first rank during classification of the crus bourgeois in 2003.

Hubert Perrodo bought Château Labégorce in 1989, then L'Abbé Gorsse De Gorsse in 2002 and finally Labégorce Zédé in 2005. By reunifying a prestigious vineyard divided by history, he achieved the goal he had set for himself and these great Margaux crus bourgeois once again share their future together. Sadly, Hubert Perrodo died in a skiing accident in 2006, and today his daughter Nathalie manages the estate which also includes the Grand Cru Classé Château Marquis D'Alesme.

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