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HISTORY


"Icelle terre par sa substance est grasse, forte, lise et dense et retient l'humidité."

"This earth is rich in substance, muddy, dense and retains its moisture"

 

This quote from the famous French writer Rabelais sheds light on the origin of the name "Lisennes". "Lise" means "muddy" in old French, and the dense clay and limestone soil of Lisennes' vineyards is without doubt the inspiration for the name.

The first official record we have of Lisennes is on a bill of sale in 1758, although evidence of the estate had been found a century earlier albeit with a different spelling. The oldest known owner was Etienne de Baritaud, advisor to the King's Court of Appeals in Guyenne at the beginning of the 18th Century. His successor, the Marquis Joseph de Rabar, sold the property in 1758 to Guillaume Bardon, an officer in the King's Guard.

 

A VERY OLD VINEYARD

Since the first century, after the Roman Occupation, evidence can be found that points to the presence of vines around Bordeaux. The vines flourished on the right bank of the Garonne river (now known as the Graves region) and on the hills that are found here.

However, the true rise of the vine dates from the Middle-Ages. The annexation of Gascogne and Guyenne from the rest of France following the marriage in 1152 of Aliénor d'Aquitaine and Henry Plantegenet, the King of England, played a key role in the destiny of the Bordeaux region. Under English rule Bordeaux became a key centre of trade, supplying the English aristocracy with wine and other merchandise and allowing the vineyards along the region's rivers to prosper.

We can say with certainty that there were vines planted at Lisennes from the 12th Century, following the discovery of a bill of sale that descibes the sale of vineyards in the Parish of Tresses for the sum of 60 Bordeaux "sous".

The wine produced at this time was most probably of a rather mediocre quality. They had no way of conserving the wine, and were obliged to drink it within a year or see it turn into vinegar.

Over the centuries technology had progressed, the quality of wine has improved and the succesive owners producing wine at the estate have grown more and more aware of the rich promise that the land holds.