Château Franc-Mayne stands sentinel over six hectares of classed growth vines on the Saint Emilion côte at the edge of the famous village. Contemporary sculpture, cubist topiary and Japanese-inspired water gardens create a fusion of tradition and modernity not at all at odds with the 18th century building’s clean lines.
Hervé and Griet Laviale have transformed this ancient Girondine into a sumptuous boutique hotel and ultramodern winery. From the reception area in the vaulted roof space of the winery you look down on the immaculate vat room and first-year barrel cellar. Filling the cathedral-like space are rows of new barrels and great tanks in stainless steel and oak. In the vineyard, the vines sink their roots into the limestone hillside under which last year’s vintage matures in vast subterranean caves. Oenologue Laurence Ters produces a rich, elegant wine, with bags of fresh, aromatic complexity. A stunning place to stay; a superb wine.
Château Franc-Mayne Grand Cru Classé, Saint Emilion.