Classification: 1855 3rd growth. Château Ferrière is now the smallest surviving estate classified in 1855–although at that time Château Marquis d’Alesme was the smallest.
History: Château Ferrière was founded in the 18th century by Gabriel Ferrière. He was a shipbroker and a King officer in charge of hunting. The vineyard was progressively enlarged by his cousin Jean, the mayor of Bordeaux in 1792. At his death, a tribunal ruled the property had to be sold by his heirs who were under age, so his widow Marie had to buy it. She had three heirs: Gabriel, Michel and Rosa but only Michel was still living when she died and so became Château Ferriere’s sole owner. When he died, he left his brother Gabriel and his sister Rosa as his heirs, Rosa was herself the widow of Jacques Castaing, the owner of Château Chasse-Spleen in Grand Poujeaux located in Moulis en Médoc. Subsequently, the estate went to their cousin Henry Ferrière who sold it to Armand Feuillerat in 1913, then the owner of Château Marquis de Terme.
The daughter of Armand Feuillerat, Mrs. Durand [Madame André Durand-Feuillerat] inherited the château and left it to her children. In 1952 the Durand heirs leased the vineyard to Alexis Lichine, the owner of Château Lascombes who then ensured the maintenance and operations. He could used the crop. For 40 years, the production of Château Ferrière was very low and only passengers of a major airline company had the opportunity to have an inkling a its potential.
In 1988, Jacques Merlaut bought the vineyards and the chateau but it was not until 1992 that the tenancy agreement with Château Lascombes came to an end. The wine made at Château Lascombes ‘could perhaps have been a selection of Ferrière made primarily for the restaurant trade’ says Hugh Johnson (Wine Companion: 1991, p.52).
In 1992 the first vintage was produced by Jacques Merlaut’s daughter Bernadette Villars-Merlaut. Jacques Merlaut and his family were also the owners of Château Chasse-Spleen, Château La Gurgue, Château Haut-Bages Libéral and the Ginestet wine trading company.
On the death of her parents in 1992, Claire Villars took over here and when in 2000 the properties were divided among the family members, Claire took on the management of Château Ferrière, as well as that of Château Haut-Bages Libéral and Château La Gurgue.
Vineyards: 12 hectares (30 acres) in the Margaux AOC.
Winemaking: Wooden and concrete vats.
Margaux AOC, Château Ferrière: 1994 4,100 cases. | 2003 Cooler than normal fermentation (28°C), less extraction than usual but more press wine than usual.
F-33460 Margaux (Gironde), France