In 1707 the Count de Buffon exclaimed :
" Man's most noble conquest is this proud
and spirited animal "

The Count was of course referring to the horse! Two centuries later Alfred Jarry followed with :
" The horse's most noble conquest is the woman ".


At Château Fonrazade, a superb property owned for years by the Count des Cordes, three horses grazing in the prairie bring a smile to Fabienne Balotte's lips, who is thrilled to combine her two passions, horses and wine.
The only daughter of Guy Balotte, who has owned the estate since 1958, chose to be a vintner.
Fabienne remembers with fondness when as a child she would run through the family vineyard, looking for her maternal grandmother Renée who rode her horse through the Saint-André de Cubzac vineyards.
Her first harvest was in 1964, when she was barely five years old. Today she still remembers every detail : the smell of sun gorged grapes, the workers' tanned faces beaming with happiness when they reached the vat house with overflowing baskets. Once the grapes began to ferment, an acrid odour would waft across the stones, sticking to her skin and taking over the estate.
She has followed in her father's footsteps, a still very active 80-year old, in both spirit and action, and with the attentive help of her husband Lucien Giol, a professional engineer. Fabienne has firmly seized the reigns of the Chateau. To maintain the highest reputation of her domain, she handles everything from winemaking to sales.
(from "Bordeaux Pleasure Wines", by Marie and Serge Tchekhov, at Amavinum)