Chateau Cantin has all the characteristics of the finest winegrowing estates in Bordeaux: clay-limestone and clay-siliceous soil with crasse de fer (iron oxide) in the subsoil, into which the vines sink to a great depth. The wine is full-bodied, with fine ageing potential. The vines have ideal sun exposure on slopes with excellent natural drainage. A pond at the foot of the slope (the source of a stream called Cantin, from which the chateau takes its name) attracts cold air masses and protects the vineyard from frost.
The vineyard (67% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon) expresses its potential on a limestone plateau, a terroir that enjoys excellent exposure to sunshine. The estate is divided into 26 parcels. There are 38 hectares in all.
Saint Emilion is one of the principal wine growing sub-regions of Bordeaux, sitting on the ‘right bank’ of the Gironde alongside Pomerol, where Merlot dominates with Cabernet Franc playing a supporting role. This is compared to the Medoc and Graves on the ‘left bank’, where Cabernet Sauvignon plays the leading role.
Most of the buildings that surround the château’s main courtyard date from the 17th century. They were erected by Benedictine monks to serve both as a farm and a monastery for their religious order. They also served as the summer residence for the Saint-Emilion canons. In 1770, Cantin was already shown as a vineyard on “Belleyme’s Map”. Belleyme was a cartographer for King Louis XV.
The château was sold at the French Revolution as a national asset to a neighbour, the Baron de Mauvezin, and remained in his family for approximately 100 years. Alphonse Bisch, a Parisian wine merchant, acquired it in 1890. He then extended the property to 72 hectares and built the two towers on either side of the dwelling (only one tower remains today).
Alphonse Bisch died in 1913 and his widow sold the Estate the following year to the Chamson family. In 1988, Monsieur Benatar and the Marquis de la Croix Landol took control and set out to restore the property’s prestigious past. The property was then sold to Monsieur Leprince before being resold to the UFG – Union Française de Gestion, which decided to keep Monsieur Leprince as the farmer. After many vicissitudes, the Grands Chais de France Group became Château Cantin’s farmer of title and today has embarked on reviving its prestigious past with an initial harvest in 2007.