Loïc de Roquefeuil, nine generations at Château de Castelneau

The Château de Castelneau means “new castle” in the old Occitan language. Indeed, 300 meters away from the new château, a first castle had originally been built in the 11th century. It was not until the 14th century that the new castle was constructed with its 4 towers and square courtyard and, two centuries later, the castle became a habitable dwelling.

Birth of the Château de Castelnau

Originally the property belonged to the French Lord Montferrant and was designed to keep his family safe from attack. They were protected by nature itself with the Dordogne and Garonne rivers but were unprotected to the east- so they decided to build a small fort. In 1792 the château was all but destroyed during a great fire and the ruins were sold to two different families. The Seignouret family bought up the left hand side of the castle and, one hundred years later, acquired the right hand side too. 

The current owner, Loïc de Roquefeuil, has possessed the building since 1988- exactly one hundred years since the first members of his family acquired the property. However, due to a family dispute, the castle almost fell out of his family’s hands. 

“I remember spending my summers here with my grandparents and cousins. I could not let the family building go! So when my mother, aunt and uncle could not reach an agreement, I decided to buy it myself. My mother gave me her third and I had to sell my wine bars in Paris to pay for another third. In order to buy the final third, friends decided to back me up. I have been paying them back with wine and summer holidays until my debt has been cleared- this very year!”

château Castelnau et vignes
Château castelnau contreplongée

The Château de Castelneau in 2016

2016 is also the start of a new adventure for the castle as three guest rooms have been opened within the house.

Paysage e2m anglada  

Loïc de Roquefeuil, an history lover

2016 is also the start of a new adventure for the castle as three guest rooms have been opened within the house. When visitors arrive, Loïc de Roquefuil prefers to see to them himself. Passionate about history, he enjoys explaining the origin of local names. “Many people do not know that “Gironde”, “Médoc”, and “Bordeaux”, refer to the tides and water movements in the region!”. 
 
Loïc de Roquefeuil also explains to tourists the hard work behind the wine: “a wine grower has to pass 25 times by a vine stock. Not three like most people think”. 

At Château de Castelnau there are 30 hectares of vineyards and 40 hectares of cereal crops
 

For Loïc, the region’s history is a particular attractive feature, “you can’t go more than 500 meters without seeing a 15th century ruin or castle!” He also values the land, which is "incredibly varied with valleys, rivers and undulations. The Médoc region does not have this luxury as it is flat. Here we are lucky as it is extremely beautiful”.

Citadelle de Blaye 3  

On his to do list in the region: the exceptional citadel in the town of Blaye, the catacombs of Saint Emilion and finally, he advises to admire a sunrise whilst sat on the right hand side of the river Garonne in front of the Place de la Bourse. With regards to tourist hotspots in France, he recommends château Bonaguil in the Lot et Garonne, which he considers to be an unusual yet intelligent piece of architecture. Secondly, the unmissable Eiffel Tower “with its four feet firmly on the ground and its head in the sky,” and finally, a personal favourite, the Castelnau chapel, as “it is necessary to spend time to reflect in silence”.