A story covering many centuries
The Chateau was built by the “de Vinsons” family in 1480 during the reign of King Louis XI. At the dawn of the renaissance period Beaulon’s architectural style was still flamboyantly gothic. The North face bears witness to this original style of construction with the exception of the extensions on either side.
The roof window on the left hand side is an important element in the overall composition, a sumptuous reminder of medieval architecture at its most illustrious. Situated at the top of a vertical row of windows it appears to be cut out of the dark backdrop of the slate roof. Adorned with ornate floral sculptures, ornamental cabbage and small hooked pinnacles outlined against the azure sky. In comparison the second renaissance roof window is strictly classical but this lack of symmetry doesn’t detract from the building’s overall harmony, on the contrary it underlines the authenticity of a construction which has survived five centuries of History.
A family estate
Built in 1480 by the de Vinsons family, the Chateau became the property of the ‘de Beaulon’ family in 1510 and their name remains today. Important work was undertaken : the renaissance roof window on the north face and the imposing Italian inspired staircase adorned with roman busts whose central tower dominates the south face.
Between 1543 and 1574, the estate belonged to François de Beaulon counsel to Henri II, followed by Hélie de Beaulon. At the beginning of the 17th century the family de Nesmond became owners until 1712. Through marriage the families de Bigot, de Bremond d’Ars, de la Porte succeeded one another as the years went by.
The Bishops of Bordeaux
A defining influence
In the XVII century, the heir of Beaulon His Grace de Nesmond, bishop of Bayeux and Advisor to King Louis XIV placed the Chateau in the management of the Bishops of Bordeaux. They were to have a determining influence on the vineyards. Upon taking over the estate they discovered a vineyard used only for the production of eau-de-vie. As amateurs of Sauternes wines they decided to produce the same richness and quality from their very own vineyards, as a result Semillon and Sauvignon grape varieties were added to the vineyards and then Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon completed the Medoc influence. This Bordeaux trend has proved essential to the production of Beaulon Pineau des Charentes, over the centuries it has become the hallmark of elegance which distinguishes Beaulon Pineau from its competitors.
In 1965 Christian Thomas acquired the Chateau and it continues as a family business today. Fully aware of the importance of conserving such a heritage site he sought to list the chateau as a historical monument, the title was accorded in 1987. He undertook a campaign of restoration affecting the entire building but he paid particular attention to the improvement and extension of the vineyards.
Chateau de Beaulon Cognac and Pineau des Charentes, under the firm passionate control of Christian Thomas for more than forty years, have become synonymous with exceptional quality, be it at home or abroad.
Beyond being an AOC Beaulon Cognac and Pineau are a culture, an ‘art de vivre’.
The Cognac and Pineau are produced from a single vineyard, unique in the Charente region and registered in the cadastral register under the Beaulon estate, as such guaranteeing the authenticity of the chateau.
To the North west of the Chateau, the dovecote dates from 1740. During this period owning a dovecote was a privilege to which only the nobility could aspire. At Beaulon the dovecote has a conical roof of flat terracotta tiles, inside a rotating ladder accesses the one thousand five hundred nesting holes. These are in the form of square stone apertures at the lower level and round pottery lined holes, pottery from La Chapelle des Pots renowned in the XVIII c.
The chateau's jewel box
Landscaped gardens, rolling lawns
On arriving at the chateau, an ancient ash tree offers welcome shade for the visitor. As the sun filters through its leafy canopy the dappled light emphasises the beauty of the multi-coloured flowerbeds. In the background a green expanse of lawn stretches down to the ‘blue garden’. The clemency of the weather which is so favourable to the vineyard has a similar influence on the gardens, it has even been possible to grow such exotic plants as banana trees, south facing, they form the centre of the crisscross of alleys that lead the visitor through the park down to the ?Fontaines Bleues?.
Between the main building?s north face and the dovecote is a semi circular flower bed dotted with carefully sculpted conifers. In the centre a statuette, symbol of the vine, guards the serenity of the park.
Strolling along the fragrant alleyways, the visitor is free to choose the path that best suits his or her mood. Meander through the delicately perfumed Blue Garden down towards the ancient woods that shelter the mysterious ‘Fontaines Bleues’.
"Les Fontaines Bleues"
Natural springs of supernatural blue
Hidden in the depths of romantic woodland, the blue waters of these natural springs surface in serene deep pools known as the Fairy’s Mirror, The Red Arm etc. A network of small canals links the different pools, their gentle flow almost imperceptibly rippling the surface. Small wisteria-covered bridges allow you to discover this amazing fairyland in its entirety. Despite the attraction of the springs, don’t miss the surrounding woodland particularly the majestic plane tree whose wide girth is a homage to its great age.