In the 20th century, Château Capion changed owners several times. Sold in 1900 to a family of wine negociants, the Wormsers, they were tragically deported to Auschwitz in 1944. In the sixties, the Château belonged to the Salasc family whose own land had been expropriated when Lake Salagou near Lodève was created. In 1996, the Bürhers moved to Capion, embarking on a renovation of the Château’s grounds by adding fountains, a French garden, an ornamental pond and an Italian dovecote.
In 2016, Château Capion was bought by Oleg Chirkunov. With a major overhaul of the vineyard, as well as the estate’s conversion to organic farming, a new phase in Capion’s story has begun. Today, we welcome the public all year round to our dégustations and our ever-popular cultural events.
Old manuscripts mention the château’s original construction in the 16th century, but most of the records we have today date back to 1873, when the Domaine de Capion (or CAPIOU for those speakers of Occitan) was acquired by the Keittinger family.
Already at this time, Mr Keittinger’s newly purchased estate consisted of (apart from the château) houses and gardens, ploughed land, vineyards, olive groves, woods and pasture that stretched over sixty hectares. The vines accounted for twelve of these. The land was, and still is, irrigated by a steady-flowing stream, the Gassac – though it can become more of a torrent, descending as it does from the Cévennes to bring a little fertility to the impoverished stony soil.
In the 1880s, work began in earnest on restoring the château to its former glory; and, at the same time, Mr Keittinger added to the property by constructing large cellars and outbuildings.
It was fortunate that he had plenty of money to burn. When Phylloxera hit France in 1863, sending wine prices rocketing and later decimating the Capion vineyard like so many others, Mr Keittinger still had enough in the bank to buy and import American vine stocks. He grafted them onto the few remaining French ones that had survived the natural catastrophe, and was able to look to the future again.