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Background History

 

    In Roman times, the vineyards of Septimania were very famous before being almost destroyed by the numerous invasions of Languedoc during the Early Middle Ages. Later on, in the val-ley of the river Hérault, viticulture rose from its ashes thanks to Witiza, son of a Goth  faithful to Charlemagne and cupbearer to Louis, the Emperor’s son and future king of Aquitaine.

    Witiza, better known under the name of Saint Benedict, founded the monastery of Aniane close to Saint-André-de-Sangonis, renewed the rule of the Benedictines friars and set up a whole network of abbeys and monasteries which would build up again the reputation of the Languedoc wines until the XIXth century.

    Gellone Abbey, founded soon after 804 and located today in the medieval village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, planted with vineyards and olive groves the four small feudal estates it owned at Cambous from the Xth century.

    Thanks to the new possibility of transpor-ting wine in bottles, the wines from this area managed to reach the most prestigious tables between the XVIth and the XVIIIth century and the great estates (which were to become today’s private cel-lars) were then established.

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    Most of these great estates are mentioned on the map drawn by Cassini. The Seigneurie of the Estate of Cambous and its vineyards appear on map N°57, dating from the middle of the XVIIIth century.

    The "sacred creeper" from then on flouri-shed on the Estate with the passion-driven André Edouard Auguy de Vitry, lawyer in Gignac, and actually registered on the first 1826 land registry as owner of a larger Seigneurie of Cambous, mainly made up of vineyards, woods and olive groves. The important size of his vineyards led him to build the cellar in the XIXth century on the pediment of which is engraved the Croix du Languedoc enhanced by the shape of a heart at its bottom. Today, the estate draws its name from this engraving.

    Although the estate was blessed in 1875 as the engravings of olive and boxwood branches on the cellar indicate, it could not avoid being damaged by the phylloxera which devastated the Languedoc vineyards at that time.

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    Today, the "Domaine La Croix Chaptal" is regaining its former prestige; indeed the descendants of Auguy de Vitry who had already sold the most outlying plots of land, sold the estate to the present owners who were able to restructure the vineyard and restore the original cellar...

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