Château Mitaud (sometimes spelt with a "t" at the end) has a colourful history with lots of stories. Ok, so it is not actually a "château" with turrets, it is technically a maison de mâitre (a bourgeois house), but who cares.

It was built in the mid-late 19th century, although the exact date is a mystery (our builders helpfully managed to lose the building date plaque in the latest set of renovations). We can trace the history back to a Mr Courbin in 1891 who received the property as an inter vivos gift from Madame Jeanne Depiot, the widow of Arnaud Boyreau.

And this is where the story really starts to get interesting, because Boyreau is the family name of our neighbour and good friend Brigitte (whose father was our neighbour on the right looking out from the château before he passed away) who lives down the road and who, with her husband, Dominique, operates a highly successful truffle farm just across the road from us (see the section on this).

More recently, the property was owned by the Genereau family, including one James Genereau, which possibly suggests a British connection. James is actually Andrew’s middle name, so perhaps there is a link from a previous life!

And don’t forget that Bordeaux was under English control from the 12th to the 15th century, and the Bordeaux wine trade has always been a melting pot for people from the UK and further afield, reminders of which remain in the names of certain château like Château Palmer, Lynch Bages, Smith Haut Lafite and Talbot.

Andrew bought Château Mitaud in August 2001 from the relatives of the previous owners, Mr and Mrs Bruno, who had owned the property since 1950. It was a difficult negotiation, even for a battle-hardened lawyer like Andrew, because the children of the previous owners inherited the property under French laws of succession and did not see eye-to-eye on a number of levels in relation to the sale. Each had their own notaire, plus the family notaire dealing with the "succession", making a total of five lawyers in the room. That said, had they agreed on the sale earlier, none of this would have come about.

That inheritance story has a whiff of scandal which Andrew will be happy to share with you over a glass or two of wine during your stay. Luckily for Andrew, the estate agent organising the sale had a strong personal relationship with the sellers, and this helped to finally get them over the line (many previous attempts to buy had failed), after a nerve-shredding week holed up in a local bed and breakfast place, waiting for the final decision.

The Bruno family were musicians, and pictures of them playing the violin and piano were dotted around the house. What is also fascinating is that when the Brunos bought Château Mitaud, it only had 1.5 hectares of land. Mr Bruno acquired many of the additional parcels of land from different owners in 1994, five years before his death, ending up with about 11 hectares at the time it was bought by Andrew. He was 88, but used part of the land to raise farm animals, which must have been a huge challenge at his age.

When Andrew bought the château it was in a fairly run down and dilapidated state, and it has been completely renovated over the last 15 years. The sub-divided bedrooms running along the back of the main château were consolidated into the current living room/private owners' room, and the original living room is now the swimming pool. Bathroom suites were an interesting retro combination of pink and black. There was even a bathroom inside the original kitchen.

During the first phase, the original but very old-fashioned kitchen was completely refurbished and modernised, but many of the original features like the staircase and the downstairs entrance hall floor tiles remain. Most of the renovation works turning the dépendences from a workshop, a dovecot, an old stable and a 'maison de gardiens' into modern living quarters, as well as the creation of the Spa and Buddhist Chill Room were carried out during 2015 and 2016, and work continues to this day.

Winery visits

Find out about our network of vignerons and available excursions nearby