Thienpont Family
Alexandre Thienpont
Vieux Château Certan lies very close to the Pomerol church, and has plenty of famous neighbours, including Petrus, La Conseillante, Petit-Village and of course Certan de May. As its name suggests, it is one of Pomerol's oldest and most exalted estates. Actually, it is the oldest known estate in Pomerol. It dates back at least as far as the 16th century.

The 18th-century owners, a family of Scottish origin named Demay, were very active in the region, as négociants and as landlords. Georges Thienpont, a wine merchant from Etikhove (Belgium) purchased the estate in 1924. Not long before that, he had purchased the St. Emilion estate Château Troplong-Mondot, which he preferred. The Great Depression and World War I had a great impact on the wine trade, and Thienpont was forced to sell one of his estates. Since Troplong Mondot was the more profitable and more attractive to a potential buyer, it was put on the market. Georges and his son poured their time and money into Vieux Château Certan, and as a result there was an improvement in the quality of the wines.
The property has been owned and managed by the family-owned company since 1957. Georges’s grandson Alexandre has been running the estate since his father Léon’s death in 1985.

The vineyard is in one single block, located in the middle of the Pomerol plateau, which is world famous for the outstanding wines it bears. The soil is a mixture of large stones and clay, under which lies an iron-rich subsoil.
The proportion of Cabernet Franc (30%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) is very high for Pomerol. This unusual varietal mix goes back many years, and the Thienponts have not changed it, despite the increasing - if not almost exclusive - use of Merlot on many neighbouring estates.
Alexandre Thienpont is a partisan of traditional, wooden vats for fermentation, although several stainless-steel vats are also to be found in the vatroom, which are used principally for equalisation prior to bottling. Wines are aged in 50% new oak barrels for up to 22 months.

Thanks to its brilliant velvety colour, outstandingly rich aromas, and the depth and subtlety of its flavours, Vieux Château Certan has inimitable style and finesse. It is a naturally very concentrated wine which merits a few years in the cellar, after which all the nuances of its bouquet and its distinctive style are that much more apparent. Like the finest wines of the Médoc, Vieux Château Certan is best after 10 or 15 years in bottle. At this point, it is at its peak of elegance and refinement.

"The graceful character of the wine is mirrored perfectly in the architecture of the château, and in the garden and grounds…" Alexandre Thienpont.