The Château de Brégançon is located in the centre of the Côtes de Provence production area, within a listed site. It was built at the beginning of the 18th century, on a former Marquisate, of which the fort, now a presidential residence, was the fiefdom.
It was in 1816 that Simon SABRAN, the grandfather of the TEZENAS family who currently own the Château, bought the estate. At the time, it covered 1030 hectares, including 75 hectares of vines, 2000 olive trees, 2000 mulberry trees, 600 fig trees and fruit trees. The dwelling is modest, a style of fortified house adjoining a farmyard. Part of the production fed the Fort de Brégançon and its soldiers. A few years after Simon's death in 1835, his wife and 8 children decided to sell the property.
In 1837, the estate was bought by Adolphe Auguste CHAPPON, a wealthy shipowner from Marseilles who married Georgine BARRONET. Sensitive to the architecture of northern Italy, she decided to demolish the house on its foundations and rebuild a castle with three towers, a chapel and decorated the ground floor walls with frescoes and mosaics on the floor.
As luck would have it, Hermann SABRAN, Simon's grandson and a lawyer at the court in Lyon, looked after Mr CHAPPON's interests in Marseille. He made many trips to this city and had the opportunity to meet Hélène CHAPPON, daughter of the shipowner. He married her in 1869, in Bormes-les-Mimosas. Hermann and Hélène inherited Brégançon in 1880. Thus the estate came back into the SABRAN family.
In 1874, Hermann and Hélène had a daughter, Renée, who died at the age of 8 from bone tuberculosis. That same year Hermann became president of the board of directors of the Hospices Civiles de Lyon. In memory of his daughter, he wished to build a hospital centre to take in the unfortunate children hospitalised at the Charité hospital in Lyon.
Why shouldn't Brégançon be the place for this beautiful project?
Deprived of a fresh water supply, he had a dam built which was also useful to local farmers. This structure still exists today. However, the access roads remain difficult to transport the sick children coming from Lyon, and he is dissuaded from continuing this project in Brégançon. Persevering, he bought a property not far from there on the Giens peninsula, on which the hospital was built. Since its creation, it bears the name of Renée SABRAN in memory of his daughter.
For practical reasons, Hermann bought an 18-metre English yacht in Messina in 1889, named "l'Iris" or "le tramway de Giens" in reference to the many trips made between Brégançon and Giens. Today, the hospital is renowned for the quality of its care in the field of post-traumatic rehabilitation, cystic fibrosis and bone surgery, and is still under the auspices of the Hospices Civiles de Lyon.
Without descendants, Hermann SABRAN died in 1914. He bequeathed his property to his nephew, Francis SABRAN, who married Marguerite GERARD, whose parents owned Château Léoube. Francis in turn gave Brégançon to his only daughter Marguerite SABRAN who married Georges TEZENAS.
From June 1940 to December 1942, the castle was occupied by the Italians, then by the Germans from 1942 to August 1945. The castle was transformed into a stronghold where trenches, boomers and cannons lined the terrace. It was entirely repainted in camouflage colours. During the German occupation, the TEZENAS family took refuge in Château Léoube. At the time of the break-up, the Germans left Brégançon, leaving behind them some ruins. Indeed, the chapel which housed the ammunition was completely destroyed, seriously damaging the castle. Georges TEZENAS undertook the renovation and reconstruction of the chapel. It was not until the mid-1950s that mixed farming was abandoned in favour of vineyards.
Since then, two generations have succeeded one another with the firm intention of improving the quality of the crops and the wine. In 1955, Georges TEZENAS was awarded the "Cru Classé" classification for his efforts in research and quality.
Today, Olivier TEZENAS, the eighth generation since Simon SABRAN, puts his passion for the vine, his love of the terroir and his know-how into creating authentic wines that combine elegance and refinement. He continues to develop this exceptional site by building a new cellar in 2012.
Cru Classé since 1955
The history of the Côtes de Provence Classified Growths began in 1895 when certain "Winegrowers of the Var" became aware of the importance of joining forces to defend and promote their wines and properties.
In 1947, under the impetus of these determined men and women, a commission of experts selected 23 estates under the supervision of the INAO, based on a rigorous study of their terroir, their know-how and their reputation.
Thus, following the example of the most prestigious wine regions of Bordeaux, these estates and Châteaux of Provence have obtained the exceptional title of "Cru Classé". (Ministerial order of 20 July 1955)
In 1990, the Club des Crus Classés was created with the aim of improving the quality of the wines and perpetuating tradition and know-how.
Today, the story continues and 18 estates and Châteaux have officially joined forces with the ambition of affirming and conveying their "Cru Classé" identity, acquired by their peers, and with the common desire to make this hierarchy, a sign of excellence, well known.