Château Calon-Ségur: Madame Denise Capbern-Gasqueton

The deal was closed in 1894, one-half of the new owners being Pierre Jean Charles Georges Capbern-Gasqueton (1857 – 1922), who had been born nearby in Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, and who was thankfully known simply as Georges. The other half was Charles Léon Hanappier (1796 – 1922), often described as his uncle although in fact he was the grandfather of his wife. Capbern-Gasqueton and Hanappier handed over half a million francs for the château and vineyards. Capbern-Gasqueton already had some experience in the business of viticulture and vinification, being proprietor of nearby Château Capbern-Gasqueton, a property which can be found behind the church in St Estèphe, looking out onto its vines and the Gironde below. Hanappier, meanwhile, was a négociant who hailed from Orléans.

Château Calon-Ségur

Georges Capbern-Gasqueton’s wife was Marie Catherine Emilie Hélène Berchon (1862 – 1932), who he married on July 27th 1885 and with whom he had five sons named Georges, Lionel, Édouard, Étienne and Henri. Although in joint ownership it was the Capbern-Gasquetons that were largely responsible for revitalising Calon-Ségur, starting with the younger Georges, who inherited the estate from the elder Georges after his death in 1922. Although Georges married he had only a daughter, and perhaps for this reason the estate was subsequently bequeathed to a nephew named Philippe, who was the son of Georges’ brother Edouard and his wife Elaine. It was during this era that Château Calon-Ségur saw the most dramatic phase of its 20th-century rejuvenation, the wines climbing to an ascendancy which placed the château high in the St Estèphe ranking, eclipsing the efforts not only at Château Montrose and Château Cos d’Estournel but also at many supposedly superior estates beyond the communal boundary.

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