History of Lestange

Lestange is a charming château which has a commanding view over the Garonne river, while casting a discreet glance towards Bordeaux. Apart from being an estate producing a ‘terroir’ wine using the characteristic grape varieties of the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, it is also a historical castle with a welcome, providing a calm atmosphere inductive to meditation. This tradition of welcoming visitors dates back to the 16th century : travellers on the road to Toulouse or Spain would stop here to for refreshments and rest in the estate’s magnificent woods. A freshwater well existed on the property as early as 1534, adjacent to a roman road.

The château was built in 1645 on the site of what was originally a post house, located on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostelle. It quickly became regarded as a rare pearl among the right bank châteaux. The place was especially popular with the aristocracy and the Bordeaux upper middle class who built beautiful Summer villas in the vicinity. All this polite society would arrive in the area at the start of the Summer to escape the stifling heat of the Bordeaux marshes.

In 1834 the Charmet-Thomas family purchased the estate. They were returning to France from ‘L'île Bourbon’ – now called Reunion Island. The family completed the final touches to the architecture of this castle built on a human scale. The louvred-style fanlights are reminders of the much sought-after shade in the Tropics. The paintings of three mast gallions which hang in the magnificent stairway also show a taste for adventure in far-off lands. Bright light, calmness and serenity all make this an exceptional place as visitors who sign the visitors’ book regularly testify. In 1997, Anne-Marie Charmet-Thomas decided that Lestange should be open to the public all year long. She oversaw a programme of renovation work which enabled the château to welcome visitors in the best conditions possible : two spacious country cottages were created in the château and its outbuildings, one guest suite and one guest bedroom. A building project of ‘eco-lodges’ in the forest is planned for 2011.