The Chanfreau Family’s enduring connection with Château Fonréaud traces its roots back to 1962 when Léo Chanfreau, a winemaker from Algeria, returned to France and acquired the estate. At that time, the vineyard was in a state of disrepair, covering only 17 hectares. Consequently, he embarked on a comprehensive restoration project, meticulously reconstructing the property from the vines to the cellar. Unfortunately, in 1970, Léo had to abruptly halt his work due to a tractor accident. Following this tragic event, his father, Marcel, assumed responsibility until Jean, Léo’s son, took over upon completing his agronomic studies. Jean’s tireless efforts were ultimately rewarded in 1983 when Château Fonréaud joined the Bordeaux Wine Academy and the Union des Grands Crus.
Today, Jean, along with his wife Marie-Hélène and his sister Caroline Chanfreau-Philippon, continue to preserve the family’s legacy. The future is secured with the recent addition of Guillaume and Loïc, Jean’s sons, who manage the vineyard with unwavering passion and dedication. The name ‘Fonréaud,’ formerly ‘Font-réaux,’ has a historical connotation as a ‘Royal Fountain.’ Legend has it that in the 12th century, Henry II Plantagenet, the King of England and husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, stopped at this location to quench his thirst from a cool spring. This spring still exists within the estate’s park today.
The vineyard, resembling an amphitheater, has always encircled the Château. Only the introduction of Appellations d’Origine Controlée led to its division into AOC Listrac-Médoc and AOC Moulis en Médoc. Encompassing the Médoc’s highest point at 43 meters, along with its gravel and clay-limestone slopes, this exceptional terroir produces a Listrac wine (Château Fonréaud), a Moulis wine (Château Chemin Royal), and a white Bordeaux (Le Cygne de Fonréaud).
The vines are cultivated in harmony with the environment, adhering to the principles of the Cousinié Method. With a composition of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot, the Listrac-classified vineyard now spans 42 hectares.
Continuously evolving, the Château has recently modernized all its facilities, boasting state-of-the-art vinification and barrel cellars that position it as a contender among the top classified growths of the Left Bank.
Château Fonréaud wines are imported into Canada by Domaine Selections. Contact us today!