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Grézan's History

Grézan has been a geographical and cultural cross roads ever since Romans times. It attracted early Christian pilgrims making their way to the shrine of St Jacques de Compostella. The Templar Knights used it as one of their more important regional bases for collecting taxes to pay for the Crusades until 1307 when their order was forbidden by Phillippe Le Bel.

Today the traces of the Knights Templar in the Languedoc region have aroused new interest. Some have come to believe that the Templars weren't at all Crusaders, but were just using their guise to protect one of the biggest threats to the power of the Roman Catholic Church: the sacred place of women in early christianity. Today's romantic center of gravity of this belief is Dan Brown's captivating novel 'The Da Vinci Code'. The geographical center of gravity is Rennes-le-Château, at about 30 kilometers south of Carcassonne.

After the Knight Templar had been forced to leave, the Knights of St John of Malta, renowned for their hospitality and military prowess, took over the château. After the French Revolution Grézan passed into private hands. In 1824, at the peak of the famous 19th Century Eldorado de Vin ('The Golden Age of Wine Making'), the Mirepoix family began to rebuild the house into what we see to day a romantic “Folly” of a medieval castle influenced by Viollet-le-Duc, the famous 19th century architect who restored the city of Carcassonne.

Today Grézan is owned by Marie France Lanson, daughter of Victor Lanson from the Reims based house of Champagne. Born and bred in Champagne, a great taster of bubbling wines, she is now living for over 25 years in a region of mostly still red wines and mediterranean dishes to which she has applied her own taste and tradition.


© 2004 MFL