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ségur The famous French noble family exercised decisive influence on the viticulture in the Bordeaux out. The first in the long line was the one out Pauillac native notary Jacques de Ségur (+1691), who had the function of a councilor in the Parliament of Bordeaux. His wife Jeanne de Gasq brought in 1670 as a dowry the Seigneurie (manorial estate) Lafite as a dowry in the marriage, then from the then Premier Cru Classé winery Château Lafite-Rothschild developed.

He expanded in the sequence until 1680 by new plantings and purchase of vineyards the vineyard property. Among them was a parcel called "Clos de Mouton", from which the Château Mouton-Rothschild emerged. His son Alexandre de Ségur (1674-1716) married Marie-Thérèse de Clausel in 1695, the dowager of the Premier Cru Classé winery Château Latour, the entire southern part of Pauillac and another winery contributed as a dowry.

Their son Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur (1695-1755) became President of the Parliament of Bordeaux (picture). By his marriage in 1730 he came into possession of the Château Calon-Ségur, In addition, he owned more vineyards in Médoc and Graves, The probably most famous representative of the family called thereby a true viticulture empire its own. A total of three then in 1855 at the famous Bordeaux Classification As Premiers Crus classified wineries were among his possessions. However, it should be noted that the sizes and boundaries of the companies did not coincide exactly with those of today. The Marquis also recognized the very different terroir Lafite and Mouton, and made a separation.

Through improved winemaking techniques, there were the first successes from the 1720s. Following the example of Arnaud III. Pontac (1599-1682) from Château Haut-Brion The Marquis marketed the wines under the Château name, which was not self-evident at the time. The wines were mainly exported to England and there immensely popular. By the marshal Richelieu (1696-1788), the Lafite wine later reached the court of King Louis XV. (1710-1774). As a result, the Marquis became a welcome guest at court. One day he was addressed by the king to the beautiful gems that adorn his skirt as buttons. To the general astonishment, the Marquis admitted that the supposed jewels were only carefully cut pebbles from his vineyards. Then the king gave him the title "Prince of Vignes" (Prince of the Vineyards).

The wine-making revenues were considerable - the two wineries Château Lafite and Château Latour alone produced 100,000 livres each year. Even in a bad year, according to surviving records, there were 272,000 livres of income compared to spending just 34,000 livres. The Marquis left after his death a fortune of two million livres, but no male heir. The extensive goods were divided among his four daughters and their children. Among other things, then Lafite and Latour were separated, even if the property remained in the family and was cared for by the same administrator until 1785.

Comte Marie-Alexandre-Nicolas de Ségur, the son of the eldest daughter of the "Prince des Vignes", inherited the Château Lafite. He was far from being as enterprising as his grandfather and slipped into financial trouble because of his passion for gambling. High gambling debts forced him to sell the Château Lafite in 1784. It went to a relative, Nicolas Pierre de Pichard, first President of the Parliament of Bordeaux. He was the last owner of the Ségur family. For in the turmoil of the French Revolution he lost his possessions in 1794, and finally his head under the guillotine.

Then there were six owners, until finally the estate at an auction in 1868 to Baron James de Rothschild (1792-1868) went from the French family branch and now Château Lafite-Rothschild said. The Mouton part was probably sold by the Ségur family around 1725 to a Baron Joseph de Brane and finally came in 1853 in the possession of Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild (1812-1870) from the English family branch. He called it now Château Mouton-Rothschild, Two other family goods were sold in 1810 and from the new owner under the name Château Phélan-Ségur united. The Château Latour remained as the last winery until the year 1963 in the possession of the family Ségur. Descendants of the family still sit today in the directorate of the company "Société Civile du Vignoble de Château Latour".

Nicolas-Alexandre de Segur: Public Domain , Link

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