Château Cantinot

Meet one of the Blaye jew­els

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The Château Cantinot is a fam­ily prop­erty of 30 hectares lo­cated in Cars, in the Blaye AOC Côtes-deBordeaux. Even though the Château was built in 1811, in the lower part of the prop­erty there are ru­ins of a 16th cen­tury house and traces of vines at­test­ing to the an­cient pres­ence of a vine­yard.

«We ac­quired Château Cantinot in July 2002. At the time the prop­erty was spread over 9 hectares of vines. Lit­tle by lit­tle we have grown to reach 30 hectares spread over 3 main sites (Cantinot, Capron, HautBoutet).» Cur­rently the prop­erty pro­duces about 180,000 bot­tles of which 65% are sold abroad.

What is the sig­na­ture of the wines of Château Cantinot? When we ar­rived at Cantinot we were at the time in AOC 1res Côtes-de-Blaye. We knew that it was a dif­fi­cult name and we wanted to make dif­fer­ent wines be­cause we were al­ready con­vinced by the potential of our ter­roir.We wanted to show that it is pos­si­ble to make qual­ity wines, great wines in this kind of ap­pel­la­tion. Dur­ing my first meal with Olivier Dauga I asked him to take out the wines he liked and that I would also bring the wines that I loved.We al­ready knew what we did not want to do but we had to de­fine to­gether the style of the wines that we would do.Af­ter all, it’s not up to us to do it ac­cord­ing to the ter­roir, the earth, the ge­ol­ogy, the things that can be done… My wines are like my chil­dren, they have the same fa­ther, the same mother but four dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters… each one in his place and his own per­son­al­ity.

Gen­er­ally we do not want to make wines too ex­tracted.We want sweetness, fruit and «gour­man­dise». What is wine for you?

For me wine is con­vivi­al­ity, shar­ing be­tween friends, friends. When shar­ing a bot­tle be­tween peo­ple of good com­pa­nies we talk about every­thing, we redo the world, we ex­change… Wine is also to be around a ta­ble, eat well, en­joy good prod­ucts. It is a whole part of epi­cure­anism.

How do you man­age the vine­yard / prop­erty?

We man­age our vine­yard very rea­son­ably. I have a mind­set closer to bio­dy­nam­ics than to or­ganic farm­ing, but I do not want cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.We pay great at­ten­tion to bio­di­ver­sity and the health of our vine­yards.We plant flow­ers, try to at­tract bees, con­serve woods, main­tain bio­di­ver­sity, we grow grass, work the soils, min­i­mize our im­pact on na­ture.

Do you have plans for Château Cantinot?

Yes.We in­tend to cre­ate a col­lec­tion of three bot­tles con­tain­ing a 100% Caber­net Franc, a 100% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon and a 100% Mer­lot.We find in­ter­est­ing to pro­pose mono-va­ri­etal wines be­cause we have de­li­cious lots that can not fit into any of our other cu­vées… and then the ap­proach is very in­ter­est­ing for wine lovers!

Where does the name of the prop­erty come from?

The an­cients say that in lo­cal pa­tois ‘Cantinot’ des­ig­nates a place of de­mar­ca­tion… no doubt be­cause we are at the cross­roads be­tween two roads.We never changed the name be­cause in my pre­vi­ous area of work we never re­named a ship. It also has the ad­van­tage of be­ing a short name, easy to pro­nounce and we like it.

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