Château Angélus

Heart’s Delight Featured First Growth

Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal
Château Angélus
Saint-Emilion, France

Born in 1982 in Bordeaux, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal grew up in Saint-Emilion. A graduate of Bordeaux University’s Economics Department and of the European Business School ESCP-EAP, she started her career in private banking in London at UBS, where she stayed until 2009, before joining the prestigious Swiss bank Pictet to continue in the field of private asset management. Already at that time she regularly organised tastings and dinners in London focusing on Château Angélus in answer to frequent requests from informed enthusiasts especially from the world of finance as well as from British wine merchants and starred restaurants. In 2009, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal became member of Angélus’ supervisory board, thereby becoming directly involved in managing the estate. As a member of the eighth generation of the Boüard de Laforest family, she has committed to maintaining the level of excellence of the property’s wines and image worldwide and takes an active role in promoting Angélus. In 2011, she earned the internationally acclaimed Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London. This programme extended her knowledge of wine and introduced her more in detail to the other wine growing regions of the world. At the beginning of 2012, her father Hubert de Boüard de Laforest and her uncle Jean-Bernard Grenié asked her to join them and to manage Angélus. She therefore left Pictet and henceforward spends all her time in charge of her family’s business activities as Deputy General Manager of Angélus. In 2013, she carried out the acquisition of the Saint-Emilion restaurant Logis de la Cadène and established a new team there managed by the young talented chef Alexandre Baumard.

The origins of the angelus peal and the associated prayer is often ascribed to a Papal order issued by Callistus III after Christian armies repelled the Turks on 21st July 1456. As a sign of thanks for divine intervention, all the bells in Christendom were to ring every day in the morning, at midday and in the evening, calling people to prayer. 

Over the centuries at 7.0 a.m., midday and at 7.0 p.m. the angelus bell cadenced the days’ work. In the fields and villages, women and men stopped their labours to pray. “The Angelus”, the magnificent well-known work by the great French impressionist painter, Jean- François Millet immortalised this moment of prayer.  

Château Angélus is situated in a natural amphitheatre, where sounds are amplified. Its name derives from the very old plot of vines located here, where the vine workers could hear the angelus bells of the three neighbouring churches ringing at the same time.  

The bell on the Château Angélus label recalls the call to prayer and the moment of devotion. 

Michel de Boüard, 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 known as 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. They ran the estate until 1985, when Hubert de Boüard de Laforest took over and was joined in 1987 by Jean-Bernard Grenié, then by Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal in 2012 and by Thierry Grenié de Boüard in 2016. 

 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 benefited 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.  

Since then, he has constantly challenged practices and techniques for the benefit of his land and the unique characteristics of the wines grown on it, making Château Angélus one of the foremost properties in its appellation area.  

Recognised throughout the world as one of the major Bordeaux names, Château Angélus represents the devotion of a family and its team of professionals, focussed on achieving excellence and highlighting the matchless nature of its terroir. Together, they combine their loyalty to traditional methods with continuously improving technology both in the vines and the cellar to get the very best out of each harvest and every vintage.