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Clos du Chateau d'Isenbourg

The history of Château Isenbourg is nothing if not dramatic. It is based in the commune of Rouffach, 8km south of Colmar in the Haut-Rhin district of Alsace. The name ‘Isenbourg’ has more than one possible origin: either from Eisenburg – ‘the iron castle’, or from Isisburg – ‘the castle of Isis’, the Egyptian goddess also venerated by the Romans. The area has indeed been occupied since Roman times, and some remnants suggest dedication to vine growing since then.


Under the Merovingian kings (an era spanning 300 years from the middle of the 5th century), the commune of Rouffach in which the current château now lies, was owned by the Austrian royal family, who used the château as one of the royal residences.


Half way through the 7th century, the château and entire commune of Rouffach was bequeathed to the Bishop of Strasbourg by Dagobert II. This was done to thank him for the miraculous healing of his son following a mortal wound received during a boar hunt.


Between 1100 and 1380, successive fighting between emperors and popes saw the successive destruction and rebuilding of the château. At the end of this period, the castle became part of the town fortifications, and these town walls were destined to become a crucial quality factor of the current vineyard.


During the Thirty Year War, Rouffach and Isenbourg were fought over. It was captured by the Swedes in 1634, then by the Duke of Rohan in 1635; subsequently by Henri, Vicomte de Turenne in 1675. Eventually, in 1791 (during the French Revolution) Isenbourg was sold as public property. The old buildings were demolished and replaced with a grand country house. This was extended in 1894, and forms the greater part of the building that occupies the site today.

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