A Margaux tale
From its very beginnings, the former Priory of Cantenac had been producing wines considered among the very best of this illustrious region.
Founded in the 12th century by Benedictine monks, the estate remained in the hands of the Church until the French Revolution and is recognized by the famous 1855 Classification. However, due to its ancient monastic and medieval roots, Château Prieuré-Lichine is an exception within the list of great classed growths, the rest of which originally belonged to either the nobility (the oldest estates) or the bourgeoisie (the more recent ones).
In the mid-20th century, Russian wine writer Alexis Lichine was an influential figure, often referred to as “the Pope of Wines” and author of The World Encyclopedia of Wines and Spirits. During a trip around Bordeaux, he fell under the spell of the Priory of Cantenac estate, becoming its owner in 1951. Two years later, he renamed it Château Prieuré-Lichine.
Thanks to his patient determination, Alexis Lichine was able to add new vineyard plots, modernize the cellars, and renovate the monks’ former living quarters. The château’s fate remained inextricably linked to that of the Lichine family for nearly half a century. When Alexis died at his beloved château in 1989, his son Sacha took over—but he sold it in 1999.
Now owned by the Ballande family, the estate remains faithful to the tradition of hospitality so important to Alexis.
The new fermenting rooms form the physical and symbolic link between the main 18th-century building, still redolent of its monastic past, and the very modern architecture of the Rotunda, where visitors are welcomed and invited to taste the château’s four remarkable wines. Château Prieuré-Lichine itself is a quintessential Margaux, as is the estate’s second wine, Confidences de Prieuré-Lichine. Le Blanc du Château Prieuré-Lichine is heavier and more aromatic, being aged in Burgundy barrels, while Le Clocher du Prieuré is softer and smoother.
Themed château and estate tours, wine tastings and workshops, and gourmet lunches and dinners take place at Château Prieuré-Lichine throughout the year, allowing the winemakers to share their passion with visitors, but these should be booked in advance.
Contact Château Prieuré-Lichine
34 Avenue de la 5ème République, 33460 Cantenac
For booking contact: +33 5 57 88 36 28
For further information www.prieure-lichine.fr
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