Fire Destroys Château de France's Cellar

Quantities of the Bordeaux estate's wine were damaged by the sheer heat of the blaze
Jul 21, 2011

A fire has inflicted heavy damage on the cellars at Château de France in Pessac-Leognan, ruining a portion of its 2010 wines. The fast-moving blaze started on the evening of July 18 for reasons yet to be determined.

Established during the 18th century, Château de France is currently planted with 89 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as six acres of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. It has been owned by the Thomassin family since 1971. Consultant Michel Rolland assists in the winemaking.

According to local authorities, the fire began in the garage and spread to the roof of the cellar, rapidly destroying the three-story structure. Some 50 firefighters battled the blaze, managing to keep it from spreading to other parts of the property.

Many of the cellar's stainless steel vats are still intact, but they contained the château's second wine, which was subjected to an extremely high temperature. "Part of the 2010 vintage of our second wine appears to have been affected by the disaster, but we have to wait to evaluate the full extent of the damage," said owner Arnaud Thomassin. "Our first wine was entirely saved, as the blaze didn't extend to our barrel cellar or our bottled wine storage area, thanks to the tremendous work of local firefighters."

The fire will also complicate the 2011 vintage, as Château de France has been robbed of its winemaking facilities and now has to find a new temporary location to vinify its grape harvest.

Despite this unforeseen setback, the Thomassins are continuing business as usual and plan to reconstruct the destroyed cellar as soon as possible.

Disasters Fires France Bordeaux Bordeaux's Left Bank 2010 News

You Might Also Like

Exclusive: Foley Family Wines Buys Napa’s Silverado Vineyards

Exclusive: Foley Family Wines Buys Napa’s Silverado Vineyards

Vintner, finance executive and hockey team owner Bill Foley secures 300 acres of Napa vines …

Jun 21, 2022
Josh Jensen, Founder of Calera Wine Company, Dies at 78

Josh Jensen, Founder of Calera Wine Company, Dies at 78

The California pioneer turned his passion for Pinot Noir into one of the state's most …

Jun 13, 2022
Instagram Live Chats: View Wine Spectator's Upcoming Schedule

Instagram Live Chats: View Wine Spectator's Upcoming Schedule

Our next two episodes feature Luca and Elena Currado of Vietti Winery and J Vineyards …

Jun 22, 2022
Napa Valley Barrel Auction Raises $1.5 Million in Collective Napa Valley Debut

Napa Valley Barrel Auction Raises $1.5 Million in Collective Napa Valley Debut

The Napa Valley Vintners association has replaced the landmark Auction Napa Valley charity …

Jun 8, 2022
Vegas Vibes: Highlights from Wine Spectator’s 2022 Grand Tour Kick-Off

Vegas Vibes: Highlights from Wine Spectator’s 2022 Grand Tour Kick-Off

The annual supertasting tour rolls out with 224 wineries and more than 1,000 attendees at …

Jun 7, 2022
Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to Reduced Tumor Risk

Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to Reduced Tumor Risk

Researchers found that moderate wine drinkers were as much as 40 percent less likely to …

Jun 7, 2022