Frank and Riki Campbell are the proud and happy owners of their latest (and last!) project, Château de Fayolle and its’ vineyard located in Saussignac, France. Originally from South Carolina in America, the Campbells moved to Lausanne, Switzerland in 2009 where Riki attended L’Ecole du Vin de Changins for 3 years to prepare for their new life as winemakers. Frank was the President of Eaton Corporation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The couple searched for the perfect vineyard in Switzerland and France for three years, looking at more than 100 properties. Finally, in October 2018, they found Fayolle and moved to the south of France in March 2019.
Why Fayolle? For Riki, it was the manageable size of the vineyard with the ideal terroir that had the potential to produce wines of the highest quality. For Frank, it was the medieval château, the stunning variety of the landscape and the prospect of tackling the numerous projects in all the outbuildings.
Of the 35 acres of vines in production, 60% are red grapes (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec), and 40% are white varietals, sauvignon blanc and sémillon blanc. In 1997, under the ownership of the English beer conglomerate, Ringwood Brewery, the vines, the production facilities and the château itself underwent a huge renovation and modernization. Today our vines range from 21 to 2 years old. We age some wines in stainless steel vats and some in French oak barrels—catering to both modern and traditional palates.