Serreaux was a village in its own right until the beginning of the 17th century when it was adjudged part of Begnins. The Sturler family, once the seigneurs or feudal lords of Serreaux, even had a private chapel in Begnins’s parish church. As for Serreaux itself, a map of 1786 shows that the estate then was just as it is now. In 1908 a master chimneysweep and roofer, Emile Matringe from Rolle, bought Serreaux. It remains in the possession of his descendants to this day.
The Serraux, whose name appears for the first time in 1145 in association with that of Begnins, were for a long time a separate commune, with its castle at Serraux-Dessus and its court of justice. In 1480, Serraux-Dessous was detached from the lordship and became a riere-fief.
Gradually falling into ruin, the commune became extinct in 1616, when the nobles of l'Harpe owned the castle. Serraux was then united with Begnins, which was "solely responsible for paying the war chest, the maintenance of the parish church and all other public charges".
In 1762, the Sturlers, owners of Serraux-Dessus, tried to obtain the separation from Begnins and the restoration of the old community. On 1 April 1767, after five years of palaver, a sentence from the Baillivale confirmed the attachment of Serraux to Begnins: "The commune of Serraux having ceased major community exercises for a very long time, not being included in the cadastre of the communes of the bailliage, and being currently ignored by LL.EE., it cannot resume its activity without the permission of the Sovereign, to whom alone it is incumbent to create communities... or to restore vigour and activity to a community which has ceased to be so through non-exercise... Begnins could not, however, demand any right of habitation from the grangers, winegrowers, farmers and servants of the lords Sturler and de Mestral, nor from their perpetual successors. Other individuals had to pay the housing fee.
All that remains of the old village are the two large winegrowers' houses, as well as a recently restored dwelling, decorated with a beautiful Romanesque doorway probably dating from the 11th or 13th century. Long considered to be the former chapel of the estate, this building was probably originally intended to house tanks. In 1773, Jean Antoine Rigot, Lord of Martheray, had the Battues bridge built, which spans the Fontanette stream and links Serraux-Dessus to Begnins. He had the following inscription engraved on it: "From the benefits of Providence I offer to posterity as well as to its utility the price of my gratitude".
Under the bridge, a stone bears the words: "Let us bless God", with the date 1772.
The spelling of this place is uncertain. Although Serraux appears most frequently in old documents, we also find Serreaux, Sarraul, Sarraulx... (The name is said to be derived from the Low Latin serra, or sarra, meaning enclosure, fence).
Serreaux-Dessus, Sarraux-Dessous, the habit is established of spelling the two wine estates differently, the last vestiges of the same commune.
From: "Begnins à rebrousse-temps" par Gabrielle Sénéchaud
The cellar is open every day of the week by appointment on 079 373 20 50 or 079 245 22 92 and on Saturday morning.
Come and see us at the "Comptoir du Nord Vaudois" from 25 March to 3 April at stand 507!
Matringe SA / Domaine Serreaux-Dessus
Ch. de Serreaux-Dessus 8
CH-1268 Begnins / VD
Every day of the week by appointment
Saturday mornings 9.30 - 12.00 (March to December)