Located in the small town of Cussac-Fort-Médoc, in the Haut Médoc protected geographical designation area, the Château Lanessan vineyard sits on 360 acres of land. This estate has been owned by a single-family for over 200 years, the Delbos-Bouteiller family. Lanessan produces three red wines, the Chateau Lanessan, complex yet suble, the Calèches, lighter and fruity and the Chateau Saint Gemme, fruity and smooth. The wines belong to the Cru Bourgeois family, a protected designation just under that of a Grand Cru.
Château Lanessan is striking in many ways. It is run by a woman, Paz Espejo, since 2009 and in a world that is usually considered masculine, that is quite unique. It has belonged to the same family since 1793 and the minute you step foot on the estate, you can feel that it is seeped in tradition; yet Lanessan is also quite modern and the direction it is going in is clearly forward and into the future.
Privately owned vineyards of this size (the estate produces 370 000 bottles of wine each year) in the Bordeau region are very few and far between, even more so in the Haut-Médoc area. Most vineyards there now belong to big multinational corporations or insurance companies, some of which you may know such as Chateau Latour. This absolutely does not affect the quality of the wine, but the fact that this vineyard has remained privately owned is a testament to the passion and dynamism of the team and family.
Save for the fine wines which Château Lanessan produces each year, it is also a prime example of an estate that has beautifully managed to combine tradition with modernity.
If you’re planning a visit with children, stop by the Equestrian Museum on the estate and learn about the history of the Delbos-Bouteiller family and the Château Lanessan through a guided tour of its original architecture and equipment used at the turn of the 20th century.
Tomorrow, we sit down with Paz Espejo, the managing director of Chateau Lanessan and get an insider view of what’s it like running a vineyard, with all the different aspects it implies.