Chateau George 7: What's in a name?
Updated: Nov 24, 2019
When I tell people that we are called Château George 7 (‘George Sept’ in French), then the immediate conclusion is that it refers to King George VII. Those whose history is a bit rusty, ask me ‘What was he known for?’ and I explain that we have not yet had a King George VII in the United Kingdom ……. And France didn’t have one either - they were much more taken up with kings called Louis and Charles. The automatic link to a royal personage is fine by me because Fronsac - the appellation where the chateau resides and the category that we will use on our wine labels – has a right royal connection from the days when France had a royal court.
Indeed, King George V was very fondly thought of by the French – to the extent that in thanks for the support from the UK during the first world war, they renamed the avenue (in 1918) and the metro station (in 1920) after him. Plus the George V hotel is iconic in the avenue of the same name off the Champs-Elysées. King George VII is yet to reign - and that will be when William’s son, George, comes to the throne – assuming he uses his first name when he is king and assuming that neither Charles nor William opt for George when they take the throne. A monarch does not need to use his or her given first name when they are crowned but mostly in England they do, while many in France, opted for Louis which accounts for why there were so many…..
But the origin of George is from the Greek for 'tiller of the soil' or farmer. George also hints at hommage to St George, the patron saint of England as well as the pretty natural link to a King when reading the full name. So all in all, George evokes tradition, a rappel of historic characters with a hint of royalty yet a farmer at his roots.
So why 7 and not VII? Well, I do consider that while we pay tribute to the historical and traditional, we are also forward-looking and we should not automatically be pigeon-holed as simply bearing the name of a future king! We have ideas and approaches that are more modern than some older wine making practices. We employ technology and innovation to enhance the experience and intuition of people so we are reaching forward with roots firmly in history. And of course, 7 has a significance across many cultures which is positive and lucky but more about that another time.