Château de Pintray

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The château de Pintray and its vineyard grounds

The Pintray site has almost always been occupied - there was already a settlement here in gallo-Romain times. But let us go back to the era when the site was first referred to in written documents.

The Château…

The Pintray Manor has been mentioned since 1467. the fiefdom then belonged to a merchant draper named Pierre pelé, and was part o the domain of Roche Chargé.

There is a description of the Pintray in 1547 which then consisted of "houses, a barn, cattle sheds, a dovecote, a rabbit warren, vineyards, arable and uncultivated land, copses, bushes and thickets".

In 1578 the manor house belonged to François Pain and his wife. Their coat of arms can be seen on the pediment of the chapel, one of the two pavilions that can still be admired today.

But it was Olphan du gast, the master huntsman responsible for waters and forests, who built the château in about 1612. The Pintray therefore became a meeting place in the Forest of Amboise during the reign of Louis XIII. The ground floor with its alternate bossages dates from this time. The term "bossages" describes the ornamental stone projections on the façade of the building. The first floor did not exist at this time. The chapel also dates from this era and consists of a square pavilion with angled bossages and a small octagonal bell tower. The du Gast family were to keep the Pintray for 150 years.

In 1744 the château was acquired by Claude-françois de la Noue. In 1768, in turn, his widow sold it to the Duke of Choiseul, a French Peer and Prime Minister to Louis XV, who owned the nearby Château de Chanteloup. There, the highly civilized Duke lived in magnificence surrounded by his court, and held great festivities.

Before leaving her property, the widow of la Noue had the chapel bell moved to the chapel of Saint-denis in Amboise.

The Duke of Choiseul was not to keep the Pintray estate for very long, and he sold it to Luc Alen, a brigadier of the king's army and a major in the regiment of Lally-Tollendal, at whose side he fought wars in India.

During the revolution, the widow of Alen "publicly recognised as an aristocrat" was imprisoned at Amboise. The château and grounds of the Pintray were declared to be the property of the state, and were described on the fifth day of the April/May survey in Year II of the Tepublic as follows :

"We entered a large main buiding situated at the Pintray...comprising a kitchen, an office, a room for unloading at the side, a drawing room, a closet for fruit, a bedroom, a servant's room at the side, a small entrance corridor facing steps leading up to the loft and a room in the mansard roof, a large room with a glass door leading to the garden, a small corridor facing another staircase likewise leading up to the loft and room in the roof, another large room with a fireplace, a small side room, an attic and two garrets all covered with slate, a garden area of about 2500 square metres enclosed by walls adorned with fruit trees, a door leading to a south-facing vineyard, a small slate-covered pavilion ot the corner of the north/south garden wall, latrines in the other corner, a north entrance door closed by a wooden gate with an area facing the building and fertilized at present with hemp, which is half-quartered to contain an east-facing pavilion with an attic, and a west-facing pavilion previously used as a chapel - all of the buildings are roofed, partly with tiles but mostly with slate."

The value of the property was estimeated at 2500 pounds, not including outbuildings or the grounds. The outbuildings included several cellars and a large barn in which there was an enormous rotary wine press, ustensils and vats. One of these vats had a volume of 25 casks (about 5575 litres). The domain's dedication to wine production was thus confirmed.

The Pintray still did not have a first floor. It was built in 1829, giving the château its present-day appearance.

.…The vineyard grounds

The Pintray is actually an ancient site of vineyards. It was the monks of saint martin of Tours who extended cultivation aroud Lussault. françois Ierand later Henri IV enjoyed the wine from the surrounding hills whenever they visited the Château de la Bourdaisière.

An 18th century plan shows that the Pintray was partly arable land (represented by the letter T), and partly vineyards (the letter V).

From the end of the 16th century, the nearby River Loire enabled the local wines to be shipped to Nantes and then north to the countries of England and Holland. Following the opening of the Orléans Canal in 1692, part of the production went to Paris which was a major wine-consuming market.

Since 1937, the grounds of the Pintray have been part of the A.O.C. of Montlouis sur Loire. The delicate and mellow character of its white wine is appreciated by all. The particular flavours, fruity and mineral, make this an exceptional product.

As owners of the Pintray since 1990, Maryvonne and Marius Rault are maintaining this great tradition.