A tinge of history

Domaines FABRE :
 

A TERROIR INHABITED BY MAN SINCE VERY EARLY TIMES
 

Many vestiges from various periods have been discovered on the estate:

- A 35 000-year old tumulus surrounded by a circular moat. The base of the tumulus was supported by retaining walls consisting of regularly carved stones. In the center, bones and Bronze Age potteries were buried in a rather deep ash layer.
- A more recent dolmen consisting of 6 upright stones supporting a large flat rectangular-shaped horizontal capstone 2.50 m long and 1 m wide. Inside this dolmen, two human skeletons with a horse and dog skull have been found.
- a prehistoric flint stone-carving workshop. A 22-cm long flint dagger has been collected. Many scraper and knife splinters, axe and arrow point fragments have been found.

- A 27-m long x 14-m wide gallo-roman residence including a lot of rooms. Considering the foundations of this « villa romana » which have been fully investigated, our wine-growing estate can be regarded as very old. Pottery fragments and Roman coins have also been found in the foundations. All these findings reveal that, 2000 years ago, the terroir of our Domains was already considered by the Romans as perfect for producing high-quality wines.

(Revue de la société Archéologique de Bordeaux, 1891.)

 

ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDINGS: EVIDENCE OF THE PAST

A middle-age building with adjacent farmsteads was erected at the location of the current castle. ; Cellars and prison cells can still be found in the oldest parts of the building.

The skeleton of a very tall warrior lying on side has been discovered in one of these cells. He was holding in his hands a sword bearing the name of « London » engraved on the blade. Obviously, his body had been transpierced by a 1,05-m long blade. A steel gorget from the armor this warrior was wearing at the time of his death was hanging around his neck.

(Revue de la société Archéologique de Bordeaux, 1891.) In the XVIIIth century, a map dated 1707 by Claude MASSE (1632-1737) official cartographer of king Louis XIV, shows at the location of Lamothe a large vineyard close to châteaux Lafite-Rothschilld and Mouton-Rothschild located on the nearby commune of de Pauillac.
On the same map, the parcels corresponding to the localities La Tonnelle and Landat in the commune of Vertheuil are planted with vines. A windmill, which today no longer exists, is shown in the center of LaTonnelle vineyard.
At the end of the XIXth century, the middle-age castle has been completely destroyed by a fire. The current neo-renaissance style castle has been erected at the same location. The building was completed in 1903.
At the beginning of the XXth century, the property was gambled away in the Casino of Biarritz by the owner who was also wine merchant in Bordeaux at that time.

THE SUCCESSIVE OWNERS

The owners have been more or less successful in their undertaking.
In the XIXth century, the property of Lamothe belonged to Mr. d’Elbauve, also owner of the very beautiful and ancient abbey of Vertheuil.
At the end of the fifties, the owner gradually gave up the wine activity. He was convinced that a treasury was hidden in the castle. He searched it but founded nothing...
When Gabriel Fabre back from Morocco purchased the property in 1964, wine was no longer produced on the estate.
The 33 hectares of vines making up the vineyard of Château Lamothe have been planted on limestone and gravelly slopes as from April 1967.
In 1976, Gabriel FABRE purchased the vines of Château Landat in the nearby commune of Vertheuil. In the Middle Ages, this estate belonged to the very strong abbey of Vertheuil.
In 1982, Vincent started in the profession by buying the estate of La Tonnelle whose vineyard belonged to the highly reputed château Picourneau in the XIXth century. He assisted his father in wine-growing and winemaking.
After the death of Gabriel FABRE in 1991, his children took over the management of the estate. Significant works have been undertaken in the wineries in 1996 and 1999 to improve the winemaking tool. Today, the rearranged premises offer a quality-working environment with modern equipment.

Strengthened by experience, Domaines FABRE have extended their range over the years by buying various estates all located in Haut-Médoc. Doing so, the aim has always been to enlarge the tasting offer and the wine range proposed to the customer depending on the opportunities.

 

TODAY

In 2007, Vincent FABRE and his wife decided to take over the overall management of Domaines FABRE. Presently, the vineyard includes more than 92 hectares distributed over three different estates.
Two of their three children consider engaging in the noble professions of the wine-growing branch. No doubt that the next generation will ensure the follow-up…