Château de Malessert
Château de Malessert

Château de Malessert

Founded in 996, Château de Malessert is among La Côte’s oldest estates. Working only with white grapes and primarily with Chasselas, Château de Malessert’s 15 hectares of vines have Féchy AOC designation.

Château de Malessert

Premier Grand Cru

Château de Malessert

Féchy - La Côte AOC - Chasselas - 2020

The Premier Grand Cru de Malessert 2020 is characterized by the year’s sunny weather. The terroir is ground moraine, which gives the wine its complexity. It has an aromatic nose of fresh tree fruits, is full-bodied, and smooth, finishing with an acidity that gives freshness and balance.

Our terroir

Malessert soils feature loose rock, principally glacial deposits, formed during and after the last glacial period.

Chateau - a history

Chateau - a history


From Clos de Bougel via the Order of Cluny

Clos de Bougel, which would become Malessert, was given by the priest Marin to the Order of Cluny in 996. The Order was at that time led by the abbot Odilon, who was posthumously canonized, and represented within the region by the Romainmôtier Abbey. This gift was given “to salve the soul of his lord Almaric count of Nyon” and to placate King Rudolph III. This is recorded under a charter signed by King Rudolph III of Transjuran Burgundy at Eysins in 1002. Malessert (etymology: “Mal essert”, meaning poorly cleared), like all religious assets, was seized in 1536 by Their Excellencies of Bern. Jean-François Naegeli, as conqueror of Vaud, took ownership. Naegeli, an Aigle-born magistrate, had seventeen children from two marriages. One of his daughters, Magdeleine, received Malessert as a dowry on her marriage to Bernese magistrate Jean de Steiger. Handsome and well-regarded, de Steiger met an unremarkable end by falling from his horse. His widow then married his confrere Hans Franz von Wattenwyl (later Gallicized to Jean de Watteville). And so Malessert came into the hands of the de Watteville family through their marriage, and remained there until 1807. Ten generations over 225 years!


From Château to bourgeois residence

The wholesale transformation of the property can be attributed to Jean-David de Watteville de Malessert (1740-1804), who lived in the property throughout the year and tended the vines himself, converting the old fortified house with its central turret and defensive walls into the aristocratic home it is today. Under his guidance, the gardens were designed in the French style, with charming symmetrical pathways, rows of rare varieties, rotunda and staircases. It is worth noting - and a map dated from 1772 confirms this - that nothing was undertaken that would be detrimental to the vines. These were positioned to the north of the L’Etraz road, while the meadows, fields and gardens were located to the south.


The fiefdom of Malessert

Malessert was a seigneurie, a fiefdom dispensing justice. This prestigious status, however, did not protect against all threats. In 1807, the descendants of Jean-David de Watteville were required for financial reasons to pay 87 000 francs to Paul de Coulon-Nicola, of Neuchâtel. In turn, the Coulon family sold Malessert in 1872 to Edouard Frossard de Saugy, of Vaud, for 375 000 francs. As an aside, de Saugy's father, Alexandre Frossard de Saugy, owned the Vinzel estate prior to its division. Jules and Alexandre de Saugy, Edouard’s sons, inherited Malessert.


A gem at the heart of Féchy

A historic jewel of Swiss cultural heritage, Château de Malessert offers some of Switzerland’s best wines. It is even one of the rare Féchy Premier Grand Cru, registered since 2011. What are the conditions for the award of this prestigious designation? History, reputation, the distinctive nature of the terroir (the sunniest of all La Côte vineyards), harvesting by hand, consistent quality, holding potential. Two hectares on medium- to heavy-textured calcosol, Guyot-style pruning, traditional winemaking methods at controlled temperatures. Standard tasting characteristics: an aromatic bouquet with developing floral, fruit and mineral notes. A powerful, full-bodied and well-balanced wine. A classic!


6 owners, 1000 years of history

In June 2020, the heirs of the Saugy family sold the estate to the Sothers. In keeping with their Alsatian and epicurean background, the Sother family intends to revitalize the cultural and wine-producing heritage of the estate. Our estate A 15-hectare vineyard on the slopes bordering Lake Geneva. Elevations ranging from 410 to 490 meters. Full-south exposure. Stony glacial moraine soil that is well-suited to Chasselas cultivation. Chasselas is the only variety grown on this iconic estate. Château de Malessert produces two wines: a Grand Cru and a Premier Grand Cru, both of which have Féchy AOC designation.

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