STEPHANIE DE BOUARD-RIVOAL - EXECUTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHATEAU ANGELUS
Michel de Boüard de Laforest, historian, chartist and rector of the Academy of Caen explored the origins of his family. The earliest reference he found to his family tree was with Georges Boüard, born in 1544, a Bourgeois and Jurat of the city of Bordeaux.
At the end of the 18th century in 1782, Jean de Boüard de Laforest, a King’s bodyguard, settled in Saint-Emilion. His daughter, Catherine Sophie de Boüard de Laforest, married Charles Souffrain de Lavergne in 1795 and set up home on the Mazerat estate, which belonged to her husband.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Maurice de Boüard de Laforest inherited the estate. He extended it, adding in particular a 3-hectare (7½-acre) enclosure named Angélus in 1920. He left it to his sons in 1945. Jacques and Christian de Boüard de Laforest continued their father’s work and that of previous generations. The property was classified in 1954. They extended it further until by 1985 it exceeded 20 hectares (50 acres). At this time, Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, Jacques’ son, took over the management of the estate and was joined in 1987 by his cousin Jean-Bernard Grenié, Christian’s son-in-law and later by his daughter, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal in 2012 and by his nephew Thierry Grenié de Boüard in 2016.
STÉPHANIE de BOÜARD-RIVOAL,
THE THIRD WOMAN TO RUN ANGÉLUS
Angélus is henceforward helmed by Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, joined by her cousin Thierry Grenié de Boüard. Both represent the eighth generation of the Boüard de Laforest family. After Catherine Sophie de Boüard de Laforest in 1800 and Eugénie Chatenet in 1900, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal is the third woman to preside over the fortunes of this estate, where she was born and grew up. She has an almost physical relationship with Angélus, living with the land and drawing from it the courage and determination she needs to keep on course. It gives her emotional and spiritual strength, and she sees herself as an integral part of this ecosystemic whole.
She measures the full importance of the responsibilities that were entrusted to her in 2012 and the accountability involved. She strives to display how she embraces the founding values, which have guided and supported this family since the very beginning of the story that connects it with this estate: integrity, hard work, humility and a sense of duty.
Alongside her cousin, she will continue the work of their respective fathers, grand-fathers and ancestors, focussed on the sole purpose of serving the renown of Angélus, ensuring that the name which connotes excellence and timelessness, continues to shine over time.
THE HISTORY OF A GREAT WINE
Less than a kilometre from the famous Saint-Emilion bell tower, situated on the much-vaunted south-facing “foot of the hill”, Angélus has been the life work of eight generations of the Boüard de Laforest family.
In the first-ever classification of Saint-Emilion wines in 1954, Château Angélus was a Grand Cru Classé. Already at the time, it benefitted from a solid reputation, which helped it survive the Bordeaux wine crisis of 1973 and take part in the oenological renewal of the 1980’s. This was the context in which Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, a graduate oenologist from Bordeaux University, took advantage of this marvellous wine’s illustrious past, while being resolutely turned towards the future and launched and continued to implement an ambitious, innovative policy in favour of achieving excellence in wine growing and making.
ORIGINALLY A PRAYER
The vineyard of Château Angélus is situated in a natural amphitheatre overlooked by the three Saint-Emilion churches. In the middle of this special site, the sounds were amplified and the angelus bells could be heard ringing in the morning, at midday and in the evening. They cadenced the working day in the vineyards and villages, calling the men and women to stop their labours for a few minutes and pray.
The great French impressionist painter, Jean-François Millet immortalised this moment of prayer in his magnificent work “The Angelus”, which is now on show in Paris’ Musée d’Orsay.
The Angelus devotion has a long history originating in 11th-century monastic custom, but the ringing of a noon bell is attributed to Pope Callistus III, who ordered a prayer for protection against the Turkish invasions of the 1400’s.
The bell on the Château Angélus label recalls the call to prayer and the moment of devotion.