A history of families

Irish origins, four families and more than two centuries of passion, respect for the terroir and innovation in the service of a great name.

After more than thirty years in charge of the property, the Gardinier family has decided to pass on the reins to Philippe Van de Vyvere. For this great wine enthusiast, taking over this prestigious growth is the fulfilment of one of his most cherished Dreams.

A history of families

IRISH ORIGINS

PASSION FOR WINE

It was not by chance that Bernard O’Phelan (1770-1841), a young Irish wine merchant, left his native town of Tipperary at the end of the 18th century to set himself up in Bordeaux. The town at this time was an important trading hub with the British Isles. Close relations were built up between the families that bought and sold the wines of the region from one another. These links were such that they led to alliances and even marriages, in particular that of Bernard Phélan with one of the daughters of Daniel Guestier, a well-known merchant in the Bordeaux wine market. Helped by the experience of his father-in-law, he could now envisage producing his own wines.

In 1805, he acquired Clos de Garramey, situated in Saint-Estèphe, then in 1810 Ségur de Cabanac estate.

Phélan Ségur from the sky

ONE OF THE FIRST MEDOC-STYLE VAT ROOM

At the centre of a park whose meadows stretch languorously down to the small port of Saint-Estèphe, the Palladian-style Château dominates the summit of a hillock that faces the estuary.  The model of committed owners, the Phélan family didn’t hesitate to break with the architectural practices of the time, to build a château centred on wine. Rather than designing it as a prestigious mansion, isolated from the production activity, they preferred to incorporate the vat room and cellar at the heart of the château, in an undeniably superb ensemble. They were among the first to design their vat room in the “Médoc style”.

THE PHELAN FAMILY IN AROUND 1860

Phélan family around 1860

Frank Phélan, son of Bernard Phélan

Elisa Phélan, wife of Bernard Phélan

Wilhelmine Phélan, wife of Frank Phélan

Accounting book

Frank Phelan, a Médoc personality

On the death of Bernard in 1841, this vast estate, whose combined name was Château Ségur de Garramey, was passed on to his son Frank (1820-1883). The latter, a médocain at heart even though a true Irishman, was to consecrate his life to improving still further the fame and quality of the property’s wines. Moreover, he became mayor of Saint-Estèphe and remained in that post for thirty years. He advanced within the Irish community in Bordeaux, which included among others the Johnston, Barton, Clarke and Lynch families.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Château Ségur de Garramey took on its modern name of Château Phélan Ségur. A name synonymous with classic and noble values ​​that subtly combines a sense of innovation and heritage.