Roots of the Present Lie Deep in the Past
In 1670, François de la Chaize d’Aix, Seneschal of Lyon, brother of the respectable Jesuit priest Father de La Chaize, SJ, confessor of King Louis XIV, purchased the land known as La Douze in Odenas. Between 1674 and 1676, the new château was built. The château was designed by Jules-Hardouin Mansart, Superintendent-General of the Royal Buildings and by Thomas Blanchet, painter and architect who had designed the City Hall and Palais St Pierre in Lyon. Château gardens were entrusted to the King’s famous gardener, André Le Nôtre. The estate was completed in 1676 and took the name CHATEAU de LA CHAIZE. It continued to expand between 1677 and 1693, rising to the rank of County (Grafschaft) then Marquisate.
A Family Saga
In 1735 came the celebration of the marriage between Françoise de La Chaize d’Aix and Antoine, Marquis of Montaigu, then King Louis XV’s the Ambassador to Venice. The Marquis’ personal secretary was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This was the start of nearly 3 centuries of family legacy.
During the lifetime of Françoise de La Chaize d’Aix and Antoine, Marquis of Montaigu, the wine-growing estate began to take shape. Grapevines were planted in the very best locations for the production of honest, great wines. The quality of the soils, the slope of the hills and the south-east exposure of nearly every single parcel of vineyard were ideal for establishing the basis for long-term wine growing. The viticultural facilities and in particular the magnificent winery created in 1770 stand in testimony to the fact that, even at that long-ago era, nothing was left to chance.
In back of the château, a rectangular vineyard parcel slopes up the hillside, surrounded by a protective stone wall, with remarkable exposure to sunlight year-round.
LITTLE STORIES THAT MAKE UP A GREAT HISTORY
Celebrated wines, from the United States to Buckingham Palace.
In the early 1960s, Madame d’Azincourt, Marquise de Montaigu, a descendant of the Marquis de la Chaize, was photographed in the salon at Château de La Chaize, where she is being served by one of the staff. The photo appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine, the famous American weekly.
Château de La Chaize’s wines had indeed been highly appreciated by Americans for numerous years.
In the commune of Fleurie, Clos de La Chapelle des Bois is planted with 4 hectares (9.88 acres) of vines that grow in a unique terroir that features shallow pink granitic soil.
A story that becomes a legacy: Clos de La Chapelle des Bois 2001 was served at Buckingham Palace, where, on May 7, 2004, the Queen received the Polish President. This elegant, fine wine was served with roasted turbot, potatoes “Maxime”, salsify and fennel, as stated on the several-page menu whose cover is embellished with gold lettering. This document is preciously conserved at Château de La Chaize.
THE START OF A NEW HISTORY
Today, for ethical and ecological reasons, Domaine du Château de La Chaize has set out on an unprecedented energetic and environmental transition. Four objectives have been defined to guide these plans:
- convert the vineyard in its entirety to organically-grown grapes,
- produce all the electrical and thermal energy the estate needs to be energy self-sufficient,
- use vehicles, equipment and materials that run only on electrical energy,
- recycle every by-product from our viti-vinicultural activity with the goal of "Zero waste".