Three centuries,
three families

It was at the dawn of the 18th century that the story began.

The north of the Médoc peninsular offered exciting investment opportunities for the high society of the time, and Jean-François de Pontet figured among the aristocrats and high-ranking magistrates that shaped the vast horizons of the new Médoc.

Having made his career at Versailles he was appointed Grand Squire of France under Louis XV, and then, after settling in Guyenne, he became the governor of the Médoc. In 1705, he brought together a few acres of land to the north of the village of Pauillac and with them created a vineyard; and then, in 1757, he acquired an estate in a small area known as Canet.

Following the custom of the time, he joined his surname to that of the estate. Thus, in 1781, Château Pontet-Canet was born.

A century later, Château Pontet-Canet was enjoying an extraordinary period of prosperity. The famous classification of 1855, ordered by Emperor Napoleon III, brought the estate recognition. Château Pontet-Canet now figured on the list of Médoc Grands Crus Classés.

This rise to fame was quickly spotted by one of the most influential Bordeaux négociants of the time, Henri Herman Cruse, who went on to acquire the estate in 1865. A man with great vision, he modernised the property’s infrastructures and in 1895 hired Charles Skawinski, a highly respected estate manager in the Médoc, to create “revolutionary” cellars. Thanks to this ambassador’s tireless efforts, the wines of Pontet-Canet acquired a reputation of high quality and integrity throughout the world.

In 1975, the estate was purchased by Guy Tesseron, a wine grower and négociant in Cognac.

At Pontet-Canet chance plays no part. Alfred Tesseron’s determination knows no limits. He has always managed his vineyard intelligently and methodically. Justine has today brought renewed energy, which is essential for the necessary evolutions taking place.Michel Rolland

In 1994, Guy entrusted the management of the estate to his son Alfred Tesseron, who had worked alongside him for twenty years. Uncompromising on quality and an ardent critic of the established conventions and wisdom of the time, he tried to choose growing practices that took into account the sensitivities of the vine plant while adapting vinifications to the individual terroir expression of the estate’s different plots. These practices, perfectly in tune with nature, were to become a viticultural model which would be emulated by numerous estates.

Pontet-Canet, the first renowned large-scale Bordeaux wine estate to venture into organic and biodynamic farming, was also the first among the Grands Crus Classés to be awarded double certification for the whole vineyard.

The arrival in 2015 of his daughter, Justine Tesseron, brought a new lease of life to the family venture. While remaining closely attached to the work carried out by her father, she had a clear idea of the direction in which she wanted to take the estate, reaching for ever-greater heights to add a new layer to the special uniqueness of the property. Her brother, Noé, and her cousins, Mélanie and Philippine, are the other co-owners.

Over a period of about three centuries, Château Pontet-Canet has been owned by just three families, thus displaying exceptional stability and uniqueness as a Médoc estate.