There are hundreds of châteaux in the Bordeaux region but few are truly worthy of the name. Château de Pitray, however, is a real château: a neo-gothic celebration of renaissance architecture surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest, parkland and vineyards. His mother’s family have been here since the 14th century; his ancestors built the existing house in 1868 and today Jean de Boigne manages 37 hectares of vines that produce Pitray’s excellent Côtes de Castillon wines. The terroir here is similar to the limestone côtes of nearby Saint Emilion and the vineyards are planted with merlot and cabernet franc vines. Jean’s top cuvée – la Madame – is fermented and aged in new oak barrels. Aromatic complexity (spices, caramel, black fruit), elegance, balance – the wine is superb; but it’s also great value, especially compared to its grand cru classé neighbours a few kilometres west. The de Boignes opened Pitray’s doors to tourism some years ago and today you can stay in one of their splendid chambres d’hôtes rooms all of which overlook the expansive grounds. Storytellers from the Brothers Grimm to Walt Disney could not have found a better archetype for their fairytale castles.
Comte et Comtesse de Boigne
Château de Pitray, 33350 Gardegan