Of the Estate
The Aubry Coat of Arms
The first records referring to Domaine du Mont Verrier and ‘Sieur Aubry’ date from the 17th century. The coat of arms of Sir Aubry, the estate’s owner at the time, had been received and registered by the “Conseiller du Roi et Garde de l’Armorial Général de France” (king’s counsellor and registrar of the general armorial records of France) on 20 September 1697, under the reign of Louis XIV.
Back then the property was a large house with farm land and vineyards, which were home to several families of farmers and wine growers, who would succeed one another over the generations.
A family estate bequeathed to the Hospices de Villefranche
Domaine du Mont Verrier remained in the Aubry family for over two centuries until it was bequeathed to the Hospices de Villefranche in 1892. However, Mme Berlioz, the adopted daughter of Mlle Blondeau, the last Aubry heiress, retained exclusive usufruct.
Mme Berlioz lived on the estate with her husband, Dr Dodero, until 1936, when she gave up her rights of use as the estate had become too much work for her.
The Hospices therefore took possession of the property and, until the early 1990s, the estate was home to the nuns of the Sainte Marthe de Beaune “Hospitalier” order, who worked at the hospital in Villefranche and around the region.
The property was later abandoned before being sold in 2007.
Perpetuating Savoir-Faire and cultural heritage
In 2007, Gérard Legrand took a keen interest in the estate’s history, which at that time was in danger of being dismantled. He renovated the property and opened it as a guest house in 2009. He simultaneously embarked on a major programme of restructuring and diversification of the vineyards, where he adopted sustainable wine growing methods.
From 2013 to 2015, in collaboration with the French Institute of Vine and Wine, he planted an ampelographic collection of over 200 different grape varieties. Since 2018, visitors have been able to enjoy a tour of his new winery and a wine discovery experience. He is today perpetuating the history of the estate, combining a tradition of hospitality with a love of wine