Listing of the Day
Location: Madiran, France
Price: €2.475 million (US$2.9 million)
Vineyards, views of the Pyrenees and visions of 17th-century duels are some of the highlights of the Chȃteau D’Arricau-Bordes.
Located in the countryside in southwest France, the property has wine-making history, as well as ties to a real-life musketeer and a British military hero. But it’s not just the place’s pedigree that makes it enticing—the chȃteau has been restored to a high standard and been outfitted with modern amenities.
“It’s an impressive and beautifully finished property,” said Jack Harris, an agent with London-based Knight Frank. “It’s got its own grounds, its own hobby vineyard … and views of the mountains.”
And compared to similar properties elsewhere in France, the price is very attractive. In fact, the price has come down about €1 million over the last 18 months, Mr. Harris said.
Restorations on the centuries-old chȃteau were taken up in the 1970s, when the building was close to ruin.
“Quite often you’ll find when chȃteaus are restored, they deck them out in completely contemporary fittings,” Mr. Harris said. “This has been very tastefully done; they left a lot of the original features.”
That includes the original fireplaces, wooden beams and stone walls, he said, as well as a stone spiral staircase which leads to the main building’s third floor. Like any good chȃteau, there are numerous reception areas, including a formal living room, a billiards room and a drinks parlor.
The roof has also been recently restored, so potential buyers don’t have to worry. “Other places require a huge amount of work,” Mr. Harris said. “Not just time and money, but energy.”
The current owners, a British family, don’t spend as much time there as they once did.
The seven-bedroom, five-bathroom chateau sits on more than 34 acres of gardens, vineyards and woodlands. There’s also a three-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage on the property.
The south tower boasts a wine cellar, and there’s an elevated terrace overlooking the swimming pool and out buildings.
A separate cottage can serve as a guest house or caretaker’s quarters, and features an open layout and private terrace. There are three additional outbuildings, one outfitted as an office with a meeting room, the listing said.
The grounds include the vineyards, plus gardens and woods with mature trees, wild flowers and a dozen types of orchids, according to the listing. Sunflowers, kiwis and corn are just some of the crops growing in the valleys around the estate, and the area also boasts deer, wild boar and birds of prey.
The property has its origins in the Middle Ages, according to the listing, and was given an elegant makeover during the Renaissance.
In the 18th century, the uncle of Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan—the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers” —is said to have entertained the captain at the estate. Mr. Harris concedes it’s more of a “rumor” than a demonstrable fact, but don’t let that get in the way of fantastic fantasies of valor and adventure.
And in March 1814, the Duke of Wellington apparently stayed at the house on his way to one of the last battles of the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Toulouse.
The local village is “within striking distance,” Mr. Harris said. The Pau airport is about 30 miles away, with Bordeaux and Toulouse about 120 and 136 miles away, respectively.
Agent: Jack Harris, Senior Negotiator, Knight Frank
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