François Thienpont, self-confessed “trader and creator of wine of Bordeaux”, is one of the most influential figures in Pomerol.
His family have been taking care of Vieux Château Certan and its rich heritage since early 1920, a relatively recent date in this château’s five century history. Today, father and son team Alexandre Thienpont and Guillaume Thienpont manage the vineyards and the winemaking respectively.
The grape varieties planted are 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. All harvesting is done by hand, and minimal intervention is practised in both vineyards and cellar. Father and son strive for elegance and equilibrium in each bottle, so alcoholic fermentation starts with wild yeasts, and they make a large number of micro-vinifications to differentiate clones and plots for blending. Recent years have seen a significant reduction in the use of new oak.
Alexandre Thienpont - by his own declaration - immerses himself completely in the vineyards, seeking terroir expression for all the wines. Ultimately, for the Thienponts, their philosophy is a question not of technique but of authenticity.