Château de Pierry was built c. 1734 as a Gentilhommière (country retreat) for the count-bishop of Châlons-en-Champagne and peer of the realm, Monseigneur de Choiseul-Beaupré, whose personal history was intimately linked to the birth of Champagne wine itself.
The chateau is named for the village of Pierry, south of Epernay (capital of Champagne wine), a place famous since the late 17th Century when a Benedictine cellar-master called Brother Jean Oudart (1654-1742) adopted the methods of sparkling wine production pioneered by his mentor and contemporary, Dom Pérignon, celebrated procurator of the Abbaye d’Hautvillers.
In the 1730s, Claude Antoine de Choiseul Beaupré, 24th count-bishop of Châlons-en-Champagne and peer of the realm commissioned the building of a country retreat in an encumbered, continuous plot of land of some 48 arpents (roughly 48 acres). The house was specifically designed to double as a winery (complete with wine press, storerooms and cellars). The finished property encompassed 25 rooms (representing more than 1000 m2 of living space) together with 3000 m2 of outbuildings and some 25 acres of excellent vineyard.
The road you see today divided the property in two in around 1760, separating the vineyard from the winery and the chateau itself. Monsieur de Maupas, uncle of Napoleon III’s famous prefect of police, was a frequent guest at the chateau in the Napoleonic Era.
In the mid-19th century, the estate was divided into lots and the d’Arragon family became the principal owner. In 1858 the outbuildings were partly acquired by the Gobillard family (the descendants of Monseigneur de Choiseul’s first Master Winegrower, Jean-Baptiste Gobillard). Almost a century later, in the 1970s, the property was returned to its original identity as a wine-growing estate by Jean-Paul Gobillard, who also restored the house to its mid-18th Century appearance.
This charming country retreat (ideally suited for private functions) is now one of Champagne’s prime tourist attractions.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.