In the North of the Medoc, the Château Castera is near the Gironde estuary that heads out to the Atlantic Ocean. A strategic position of protecting the waterways down to the city of Bordeaux explains the area’s rich feudal history and Château Castera is no exception. What is exceptional is that Castera has the archives to prove it. The Heritage Tour includes a private visit to the Medieval tower that houses these archives, which date back to the 15th century.
In 1355, during the Hundred Years War, the English Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, took Castera and Henry IV of England also confiscated it. The tower built in the square English style remains as a souvenir of this time.
The Arsac family owned the property in the 14th century. Marguerite d’Arsac, married Etienne de la Boétie, the famous poet and founder of French political philosophy. He was a lifelong friend of another of France’s most famous poet philosophers, Michel de Montaigne who was a frequent visitor to Castera.
In 1760, Marie-Anne de Verthamon, bought Castera. Under her ownership, the Château was transformed from a defensive site to a home with the addition of galleries and the chapel you can visit today. The Phylloxera epidemic that devastated the vineyard, put an end to the Verthamon dynasty, but Castera survived.
Today, the property covers 200 ha of vines, forests and meadows. The Château, chapel, tower and parkland with centuries-old trees are at the heart of the estate.
From past to future
The 2024 Best Of Wine Tourism Art & Culture Award is not uniquely for preserving the cultural past of the Château but also embracing the future.
As well as a permanent exhibition of sculptor Vincent Libecq, every vintage they invite a different contemporary artist to create, and show works at ‘Castera Expose’. In 2023 Camélia Otéro, and her large-scale artworks, was their guest of honour.
The property’s timelessness lies in its ability to adapt and evolve with time. Literature, sculpture, and painting are an integral part of the Château’s DNA.
Photo credits : ©ChâteauCastera Video credits : ©NaderFakhry