Chateau de Bligny Champagne
This magnificent property overlooks the village and was built on the foundations of the feudal castle by the Marquis de Dampierre, who bought the property in 1773 to hunt wolves. The tower and wings were added in the 19th century.
The Chateau de Bligny Champagne sits firmly at the foot of a hill overlooking the village and the valley of the Landion, whose spring is located under the château cellars and still supplies water today. The main gate of the château dates from the former feudal castle demolished in 1770 and is in the Louis XIII style with its fine sculptural decorations of grapes and vines.
Vines have been cultivated on the slopes of Bligny for many centuries. The Marquis de Dampierre, who owned the Bligny glassworks, lived in the castle in the heart of the village. He also owned the surrounding slopes. The vineyards provided for his personal wine consumption and the wine was mostly still.
In 1871, the Marquis de Dampierre lost his son, who was killed at the front. Contrary to some designs, the railway did not come via Bligny, but via Bar-sur-Aube. The glassworks was therefore moved to Bar. The phylloxera rang the death knell of the Bligny vineyards.
Reconstruction began in the early 19th century, when the castle was handed over to Baron de Cachard. Louis XVIII had made him a nobleman and granted him the title of baron. Baron de Cachard gave the estate a new life as a winery: he decided to plant a large vineyard, which earned him the nickname "Gentleman Wine-maker". Baron de Cachard was aware of the good reputation of the wines in the region. He had also bought the vineyards of the former priory of Sainte Eulalie, which was founded in the village around 1000. The vineyards he planted and bought now form the Château de Bligny winery.
In 1930 the vineyards covered forty-four hectares. After the war, the estate was bought by a gentleman from Tours, Mr. Lefèvre, who wanted to add a champagne to his champagne range. His plans were not realized and the property was divided up. In 1952, the Lorin family bought the vineyards in several plots and replanted them in 1954.
Now we are witnessing the rebirth of Chateau de Bligny Champagne as a result of the heavy investment in the production facilities, and the chateau has been superbly renovated. The renovated chateau is since 1999 open to the public.
You can visit the house which, together with its land, has a great historical, architectural and viticultural heritage. The dining and reception rooms have retained their decorative woodwork and ceilings painted with putti and cupids. An outstanding collection of a thousand champagne glasses, including pieces by Lalique and Daum, reminds us that the village was home to one of the largest crystal glassworks in the Aube until 1881. The cellars are marked with the label "Champagne Tourist Trail", and visitors can admire the magnificent neo-Gothic stained glass windows.
The latest plan is to create a "clos" (walled vineyard) on the vast grounds of the château, a rare one in Champagne. The "clos" will allow visitors to experience the different phases of the vine's growth.