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Château de Saran

The Château de Saran is a privately owned stately home in the village of Chouilly. It was built in 1801 for Jean-Remy Moët, grandson of the founder of the chateau’s present owners, Champagne House Moët & Chandon, which entertains its most distinguished guests here.


"The Chateau de Saran backs up to a wooded hillside teeming with game, overlooking the Marne valley all the way from Epernay to Châlons, just visible on the horizon. A sight for sore eyes indeed. [...] At the foot of the chateau, much-sung vines soak in the sun, those very same vines that in autumn will fill the cellars of M. Moët" [1]

Vines, farm land and fallow land, meadows and pinewoods — the estate was a cornucopia of riches that would grow even richer with the passing of the years.

The house that Jean-Remy Moët had built on the edge of the Saran Woods was originally a hunting lodge, designed as a "country retreat with farm buildings and a gamekeeper’s lodge" [2].

Not content merely to own a property in Chouilly, Jean-Remy Moët served as the village’s Chief Magistrate from 1817-1826, "acquitting himself of his functions as administrator with such wisdom and ability that within just a few years all things were restored to their proper order". [3]

In 1833 the house and its extensive grounds passed to Jean-Remy’s son Victor Moët who by 1846 had transformed his father’s once modest country retreat into an elegant country house — what the French call a "château".

Victor Moët died in 1881, bequeathing the chateau and its holdings to his only daughter Rachel Moët, wife of Victor Auban-Moët. He then remarried after Rachel died to a widow lady called Van Bomberghen, whose daughter, Eugénie, he adopted as his heir.

Upon Victor’s death, Eugénie (now Thomas by marriage) took possession of the estate and commissioned Epernay architect Fernand Gallot to redesign the house itself. The height of the northwest wing was raised and the façade acquired its present 18th Century appearance, providing Eugénie with a perfect main residence in the Epernay region.

In 1952, at the behest of the now deceased Eugénie, the chateau was bequeathed to the Hôpital Auban-Moët in Epernay for use as a convalescent or retirement home. In the event, this proved unworkable and the chateau was sold to Champagne House Moët & Chandon in February 1954, which now entertains its most distinguished guests here.

Portfolio

  • Château de Saran cour d'honneur
  • Château de Saran vue aérienne

Notes

[1taken from an article in L’Illustration, 1862.

[2notarial deed: expected allocation of items in the estate of Jean-Remy Moët de Romont, 9 January 1833. Documentation Department.

[3Ernest Barré, Chouilly historian, Etude sur Chouilly, Châlons-sur Marne, 1863.