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Saint Michel de Montaigne Town HallVersion Française

St Michel de Montaigne is situated on the border between the Gironde and the Dordogne, 7km north of Castillon La Bataille. It is best known for the château where Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was born and died (1533 - 1592). Michel de Montaigne : famous author, Parliamentary Counsellor, Mayor of Bordeaux, Gentleman of the King’s Chamber and indefatigable traveller.


The commune is composed of four hamlets : the village itself with 12th century church and the château entrance, Les Illarets, Le Petit Moulin and Bonnefare which has a chapel dating from the times of the Knights Templar.

The presence of vineyards and production of wine in the area go back as far as the Crusades and Michel de Montaigne doubtless contemplated the vines’ ancestors from his tower as he wrote his essays.
This is wine-producing country and Montravel has the advantage of very sunny, south-facing hillsides perfectly adapted to the wines of the region.
Studies show that the geological strata of St Emilion and Côtes de Castillon are exactly the same virtually up to Le Fleix, or around Port St Foy, meaning that these vineyards have the same soils as their prestigious neighbours St Emilion and Pomerol. Similarly the grape varieties of Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon are the same as their illustrious neighbours.
The white wines are made from a harmonious blend of three grape varieties : Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle. This blend gives Montravel dry whites a distinct and recognised specificity.
The Côtes de Montravel and Montravel which are harvested a little later than the dry white wines, produce excellent sweet (‘liquoreux’) white wines which can be kept - and indeed improve with keeping - for many years.
The reds are also fine wines made of a blend of Merlot, Cabernet-Franc and Cabernet- Sauvignon.

In fact for a long time the commune was known as St Michel et Bonnefare before adopting its present name in 1938 in memory of the author.
It has a surface area of 930 hectares and counts
a population of 356 (official population on January 1, 2017 ). It is, essentially, an agricultural and viticultural community but also has large tracts of forest land. The plateau vineyards are beautifully exposed and produce an excellent wine.





Text translated by Pays du Grand Bergeracois (professional translator).