Brown-Forman challenges Château Chambord over name

Spirits giant Brown-Forman has launched legal action against Château Chambord in the Loire Valley to try to stop the property from using its own name on its wines.

Château Chambord in the Loire Valley was built by King Francis I to serve as his hunting lodge

As reported by The Telegraph, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman is challenging the right of the 16th century château to use the word ‘Chambord’ on its wines as the company has made Chambord, a black raspberry liqueur infused in aged Cognac, for the last decade.

Modelled on a similar liqueur made in the Loire Valley in the 17th century, Chambord is made at by Brown-Forman at Cour-Cheverny near Chambord.

According to Brown-Forman, the company acquired ownership of the Chambord brand “many years ago”.

Black raspberry liqueur Chambord is made by Brown-Forman

Château Chambord planted a vineyard three years ago and plans to release its first wines, ‘Clos de Chambord’ and an ‘IGP Chambord’ this autumn.

The château’s director, Jean d’Haussonville, is outraged at the decision and believes Brown-Forman shouldn’t be allowed exclusive rights to a name that carries historical significance in France.

“It is unimaginable that a liqueur could prevent us from using the brand of our national heritage for our own products,” d’Haussonville told The Telegraph.

“The fight for Chambord is a fight for our entire nation. Across the world companies are able to take a name that plays a significant role in French heritage, and exploit it,” he added.

The case is due to be heard by the high court of Paris, but the château and the drinks giant are negotiating in the hope of reaching an out-of-court settlement, with Chambord hoping to receive compensation from Brown-Forman for the use of its name.

d’Haussonville told The Telegraph: “Why should we not get royalties on the use of our name, given that these products benefit from our image and that image is maintained by the French taxpayer?”

Renowned for its distinctive French Renaissance architecture, Chambord, built by King Francis I to serve as his hunting lodge, is the largest of the Loire châteaux and attracts tourists from all over the world.

One Response to “Brown-Forman challenges Château Chambord over name”

  1. Vinis Mercator says:

    This is crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brown-Forman try to prevent chefs from cooking Carp à la Chambord? The recipe can be found in “The French Cook” by Louis Eustache Ude published in 1828 and probably dates back to at least 100 years earlier.

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