Surrounding the French city of Montpellier are a number of chateaux, old country mansions or follies, built by wealthy merchants, from the 18th century onwards. Some of them had and still have their own wines. Jean Giral was amongst the architects hired by the merchants.
The follies are the visible proof of the wealth of the region in the 18th century. Most of them are built in Renaissance style, with decorative gardens surrounding them. These gardens are designed in a 'natural' way, in a style resembling but pre-dating English garden style.
The follies are owned by wealthy families, and some of them still make wine (especially Flaugergues). They are mostly surrounded by suburbs, highways, outlet stores and the like. Below is a list of the chateaux: