Carla Passino picks out seven magnificent homes for sale across south-west France.
Lot-et-Garonne, €1.89 million (about £1.58m)
The Château du Fréchou soars above the Gascon countryside in Nerac, taking in long views to the Pyrenees from its towers. Originally dating from 1280, with 16th-century additions, it has preserved many magnificent features, including a stone staircase, open fireplaces and a library in the north-eastern tower. Despite its grandeur, it has a manageable size, with five bedrooms and about 6,400sq ft of living space.
Outside are a range of outbuildings, including a pigeonnier and an orangery, plus formal gardens, a walnut orchard and grounds for a total of just under 17½ acres.
Knight Frank 020–7861 1139; www.knightfrank.com
Gironde, €5.775 million (about £4.8m)
The ideal home for a winemaker, this château in Blaye stands in more than 160 acres of grounds, of which about 123 are taken up by vineyards, with facilities already in place to make Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux wine.
Matching the beauty of the grounds is the 6,243sq ft interior, with its spectacular staircase, vaulted dining room and tower bedrooms. The château also comes with a swimming pool, stables and a caretaker house.
Leggett Prestige 0870 011 5151; www.leggettprestige.com
Dordogne, €1.26 million (about £1.05m)
Only 15 minutes from Bergerac’s airport, this beautiful property is not merely beautiful, but also versatile. The climber-clad house has eight bedrooms and self-contained ground-floor apartment, then there’s a delightful two-bedroom pigeonnier and additional accommodation that can be let out in its entirety or as chambre d’hôte.
The lush 5¼-acre grounds include a lake, a heated swimming pool and an all-weather tennis court.
Savills Beaux Villages Immobilier 00 33 556 713 659; www.savills.com; and Home Hunts 020–8144 5501; www.home-hunts.com
Gers, €3.71 million (about £3.1m)
Built at the turn of the 19th century, this château near Auch has it all: graceful architecture, views so long that they reach as far as the Pyrenees and a delightful setting in more than 59 acres of formal gardens, woodland and paddocks. The interior matches the elegance of the façade, with marble fireplaces, coffered ceilings, striking parquet flooring and tiling, and a head-turning staircase with carved balustrade.
There are eight bedrooms—the master suite, with its fitted dressing room is especially impressive—plus an attic that’s fully insulated and ripe for development. Ancillary buildings harbour a gîte and a wellness complex complete with swimming pool, spa bath and sauna.
Christie’s International Real Estate 00 33 689 010 520; www.christiesrealestate.com
Dordogne, €2.6 million (about £2.173m)
French charm infuses every corner of this traditional Perigourdian manor house in Le Bugue, which originally dates from the 12th century. There are exposed beams and ancient stone floors, massive fireplaces and stone walls — plus additional accommodation in the form of two cottages, a pigeonnier and two barns.
The grounds are, if possible, even more beautiful: patiently nurtured over the course of 30 years, they feature a pavilion with fishing fountains and ornamental pond, landscaped gardens with exquisitely trimmed topiary, plus two heated saltwater swimming pools, a tennis court, vegetable and herb gardens and an orchard.
Christie’s International Real Estate 00 33 674 272 686; www.christiesrealestate.com
Lot, €1.7745 million (about £1.477m)
For a golf course to call your own, head to this charming house in Cahors. Built of Quercy stone and brightened by pretty blue shutters, it not only has a panoramic tower, a pool and a lake but also a nine-hole course, all set in about 38¼ acres of part-forested grounds. Large fireplaces, exposed stone walls and ancient timbers give a special atmosphere to the living space, which is split between a four-bedroom main house, a guest house and a pigeonnier. There’s also a large renovated barn and a pétanque court.
Home Hunts 020–8144 5501; www.home-hunts.com
Gironde, €1.775 million (about £1.477m)
A painstaking restoration has brought back to life this 17th-century manor house and its long-dormant vineyard close to Saint-Émilion, one of France’s wine capitals. The luminous interior is beautifully finished with parquet, fine fireplaces and exposed stones, but still has spaces that can be tailored to meet a buyer’s needs. The 39½-acre grounds include about 27 acres of vines, plus another seven that could be planted. The winemaking equipment is new and in place and there is a swimming pool that takes in fine views of the vineyard.
Bordeaux Sotheby’s International Realty 00 33 556 796 362; www.sothebysrealty.com
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.