Christophe and Sylvia Gay have renovated six châteaux, but get the most reward from the joy their historic buildings bring to visitors and guests.
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Christophe Gay was born in a château in Burgundy that his father bought in 1966 for less than €10,000. It was in a state of ruin and needed a huge amount of repair, which Christophe’s father who was very handy with a number of trades and worked as an electrician on the railways continued to complete throughout his lifetime with his own hands. Christophe often assisted his father and got the bug to renovate his own château, which he did when he bought his first one with wife Sylvia in 2008. Now with a team working for him year round, Christophe loves breathing life back into these exquisite historical buildings, but with a number of mod cons thrown in! Every bedroom has an ensuite and every kitchen at least one or two dishwashers!
Christophe’s business Kasteliades now has 6 châteaux which he manages as a team with his wife, son, daughter and son-in-law. It seems he has created a work environment encapsulating family togetherness as well as feeding their collective souls as they all breathe new life into these beautiful buildings dating back hundreds of years.
The oldest château has parts that date back to the 13th century, with other sections from the 16th and 19th centuries. I often say on the podcast that I feel as though old buildings talk to us, telling us their secrets from the past. One château did exactly that when Christophe drilled into a wall next to a fireplace. Behind there opened up a secret space that was like a time capsule from WW2 with secret documents and a diary from the owner at that time who was assisting the Resistance. How fascinating to find history that has been hidden away for years and then be holding it in your own hands!
Visitors to Burgundy sometimes seek out the region as a place to stay because of it’s famed wines as well as gastronomy. Christophe’s is passionate about wine and is the president of a wine club in Burgundy, sometimes hosting evenings for his private club members. He has also hosted wine tastings for guests, explaining things not heard at the larger wineries about Burgundian wines.
Guests can now go and stay at any of the châteaux in the Kasteliades group. I have stayed in Burgundy recently in the village of Cuisery, only a stone’s throw from one of Christophe’s châteaux. I was so enchanted by the whole area that I will definitely be back to stay in Burgundy again!
Website – Kasteliades