Château de Sales, a Pomerol’s landmark

© T.Joly
Largest wine estate in the Pomerol appellation, Château de Sales produces excellent wines and aims to become a quality reference. Listed as an historical monument, the property is one of the most beautiful of the Bordeaux region.

[ Practical ]

Getting there
- By road
530 km from Paris on autoroute A10 till exit 30 then on N10 and D18 till Libourne.
- By train
TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Libourne.
TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Bordeaux Saint-Jean then TER from Bordeaux Saint-Jean to Libourne.
Château de Sales
11 chemin de Sales, 33500 Libourne.
Open to visit by appointment Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30am to 12.30pm and from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Closed on public holidays.
Price : €19 per person.
Tel : 0671858569
At the gates of Libourne, the Château de Sales is a landmark in Bordeaux wine region in more ways than one. By its architectural heritage, due to its size as it is the largest wine estate in the Pomerol appellation, and also because it belongs to the same family since its foundation in 1464 !!! If the names of the owners have changed over the centuries it is only because the property was on four occasions passed down through the women of the family.
A long history littered with achievements and emblematic figures.

© Château de Sales
 The 25th generation at the helm
Let’s name Gabrielle Desaygues who during the Revolution, was initially imprisoned and dispossessed of her goods before being freed and succeeding in recovering almost all the estate and vineyard. Or Henri de Lambert who, from 1949 to 1985 increased the planted area from 28 ha to almost 48 ha and was president of the Pomerol wine syndicate as well as of the Bordeaux Wine Interprofessional Council and the National Confederation of Producers of Wine and Spirits with Registered Designation of Origin.
Since 2017, the castle is in the hands of the 25th generation. In this case fourteen first cousins ​​grouped together in an operating company who all decided to give new impetus to the estate and to raise it even higher in the qualitative hierarchy of the appellation. For this purpose, a chief executive officer has been recruited and slight modifications have been made to the way in which the wines are made.

© Château de Sales
 Sustainable winegrowing
Vinification is no longer only carried out in thermo-regulated concrete tanks, but also in stainless steel tanks, and a slightly larger percentage of aging takes place in new barrels.
Covering 47.6 ha out of the 90 ha making up the estate, the vineyard extends around the cellar and remains grown in the traditional way with environment friendly practices. Weed control is done without chemicals, fight against pests is done partly by sexual confusion and grapes are handpicked. Planted with Merlot, 73%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%, and Cabernet Franc, 12%, the vineyard yield year after year around 120,000 bottles of Château de la Sales, the estate main wine that is aged in barrels for 12 months. A balanced, round and fleshy wine of ruby ​​color with a nose of red or black fruits which on the palate offers silky tannins, well integrated wood with aromas of black fruits and a hint of spice. The estate also produces 70,000 to 90,000 bottles of a second wine, Château Chantalouette, for 1/3 matured in barrels and 2/3 in vats, which is more fruity and can be drunk younger.

© T.Joly
 A historical monument worth a visit
These wines can of course be tasted and bought at the property in a room with a superb wooden ceiling in the shape of an overturned boat hull. One of the many architectural attractions of Château de Sales which is listed as a historical monuments. You will get there by passing through the vineyard on a lane lined with majestic hundred-year-old plane trees. It leads to an astonishing entrance porch surmounted by an old dovecote with an imperial roof now converted into an apartment. Beyond, the interior courtyard faces a charming early 17th century chartreuse, the roof of which is decorated with Japanese-inspired elements added in the 19th century. Private residence of the family, it cannot be visited. However, once the tasting is finished, tourists can access an English garden laid out in the 18th and comprising a pond in which the rear facade of the chartreuse is reflected. A pleasure for the eyes that comes after a feast for the palate.

Mars 01, 2020
Thierry Joly