The King’s minister, Cardinal Richelieu, in a quest to find the best vineyards in the Bordeaux region purchased lands here on the Tertre de Fronsac. His nephew built the château which still bears the family name. Dutch winemaker Arjen Pen gave up a career in the airlines business and now co-owns Château Richelieu where he cultivates around 10 hectares of vines organically. The exceptional terroir has allowed Arjen and his talented team (which has included expert advisors like Stephane Derenoncourt) to produce a very fine wine, much fêted by the pundits on both sides of the Atlantic. Within the classical 17th century house, are five chambres d’hôtes whose names follow a Musketeer theme – Athos, Porthos, Aramis, D’Artagnon and, downstairs, a suite named after their arch-enemy, Richelieu. Three red wines are produced: an easy-drinking, lighter-style Fronsac called La Temptation, the main cuvée Château Richelieu and a prestige wine called La Favourite whose 2005 vintage was awarded 93 points by Mr. Parker. Arjen’s talents are taking him even further afield in the wine world – his most recent projects in South Africa are starting to bear fruit and one imagines that this Flying Dutchman will go far!
Arjen Pen, Château Richelieu, Chemin du Tertre, 33126 Fronsac