Personal secretary of king Louis XIV of France, Phelippeaux de Ponchartrain acquired in 1655 a hunting place near the forests of the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, and the nice lands on the top of the hillside next to it. Since then, the property has been kept in the family, and each generation contributed to its construction and reputation. Henri Allain-Targé brought there the French politics of the IIIrd Republic like Gambetta and Villemain. Then, the marriage of Geneviève Allain-Targé with Charles Ferry, brother of Jules Ferry (well known in France for his implications in making school mandatory and free for all French youth) made it the privileged place of the Ferry. Fresnette – their unique descendant – and her husband Edgard Pisani, then Minister under de Gaulle, together restored the Château after all the damages of the two World Wars.
Their son, Edouard Pisani-Ferry, agricultural engineer in winemaking, inherited the Château in 1976. He started by building a modern winery with thermo-regulated tanks, and then in the 90’s expanded the vineyard by buying and exchanging blocks in order to have the quality he thought the Château deserved. He also started in this period to have environment-friendly ways of growing the vines and making the wine. Since 2000, he is a member of the Terra Vitis association, which makes an annual control on the whole process. fter celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Château de Targé, we now want to show the unexplored potentials of our terroirs. We diversify our methods and processes for vinegrowing and winemaking, and of course get more wines out of it.
In 2002, “Les Fresnettes” (white Saumur Blanc made of Chenin) joined the classics – Traditional Cuvée and Cuvée Ferry (red Saumur-Champignys). In 2004, we started the Quintessence de Targé (AOC Saumur-Champigny) with the advices of one of the greatest French winemakers, Pierre Seillan, with which we received five medals over the three first vintages. The Rose de Targé (AOC Cabernet de Saumur) was launched in 2006, closely followed a year after by two new Saumur Brut (sparkling wines) made “Façon Crémant”, a white and a rosé. Finally, the Coteaux de Targé (sweet white wine) was created in 2007 as well – and the vintage 2010 was consecrated best liquorous wine of the Loire Valley by Decanter magazine in London.