The Chateau d’Esclans is located in an exceptional location on raised grounds near the Gorges of Pennafort, twenty-five kilometers northwest of the ancient Roman town of Frejus, on the Mediterranean coast. The earliest remains of the castle date back to Gaullist times, during which its location served as a point of observation to identify intruders coming by boat to the Gulf of Frejus. The structure or foundation of the castle cellar (now known as the oldest in the region) housed an original Chateau that was given by the Comte de Provence to Gérard De Villeneuve in 1201.
The current castle, inspired by the design of Villa Toscana, was built during the mid-19th century. In 1201, Gérard De Villeneuve, part of a wealthy Marseille family, took over the ownership of the castle and most of the surface of the Vallée d’Esclans that would eventually be sold in batches. Two brothers, Sauver Louis Ranque and François Alexandre Ranque, were the next to own the castle, then known as Terre d’Esclans. In 1875, they sold the estate to Joseph Toussaint Caussemille, who manufactured wooden matches near Marseilles.
In 1955 the Perraud family owned the estate until 1994. At that time it was bought by a Swedish pension fund that produced a small amount of wine and the remaining grapes were sold to neighboring winemakers. Sacha Lichine acquired the Château d’Esclans in 2006. Today there are 108 acres (44 ha) of vineyards. The total property is 659 acres (267 ha).
The primary grape grown on the estate is Grenache, followed by Vermentino. Other grapes include Cinsault, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Tibouren. The château is known for its ancient Grenache vines, which produce grapes that offer higher concentration of flavor than younger vines. As the elevation to which the lots are situated increases, so does the age of the vines. In the highest batch, the vines are 90 years old.