Vineyards, Chateaux & Holiday cottages in the South of France
Domaine & Demeure was founded in 2008 by Karl O’Hanlon to pursue a vision of authentic and sustainable real estate and tourism, with a particular emphasis on the restoration of ‘sleeping giant’ wine estates and other historic buildings.
A sustainable and authentic vision; “The restoration and operation of châteaux and wine estates and other character buildings as exceptional destinations, retaining and enhancing their essential purpose and character, wholly integrated with and respectful of the local environment – natural, social, cultural and economic.”
When we bought Château Les Carrasses and Château St Pierre de Serjac the estates had been all but abandoned for many years. Our idea was to turn them into à la carte vacation destinations: holidays and breaks that did not demand a compromise from guests, who could to have the holiday that suited them rather than have it imposed in a package.
Like the best French wines, the aim was to create an ‘assemblage’ of the best
elements of traditional accommodation options: The facilities and style of a quality hotel, the privacy and practicality of renting a villa, the charm and authenticity of a working wine estate and the laid back ambience and service of a private club. While we don’t necessarily have every aspect of each element, we’ve tried to ensure that we have all the best bits and that the estate comes together as a cohesive whole.
In 1896 Baron Cyprian de Crozals, heir to a large wine fortune created during the boom period of the late 19th Century commissioned renowned Bordeaux architect Louis-Michel Garros to restore an existing estate at St Pierre de Serjac, creating in the process the buildings that stand today. Garros responded in typical eclectic style and St Pierre emerged as one of the most important estates in the region, producing almost one million litres of wine per year.
The Châteaux remained in the de Crozals family until 2011 when it was sold by Baron Paul de Chefdebien to Karl O’Hanlon and Laurent Bonfils, who were looking for an estate to overhaul. The transformation of the Château and the outbuildings took five years, with the wine production was moved to
the modern facility at nearby Domaine de Cibadies in the interim, with the current incarnation of the estate opening its doors to guests in 2016.
Following a redesign of the vines and investment in the winery, wine production on the estate restarted in 2018 and is being carried out by our partners Vignobles Bonfils, a family of independent winemakers with a portfolio of 17 award-winning properties in the Languedoc.
We are lucky enough to live and work in beautiful natural surroundings, and so it is important to us that we do everything we can to minimize the environmental impact of our estates, ensuring that this pristine environment is preserved for those that will come after us. This obligation guides our approach to both the development and the day to day running of the estate.