Château Cantenac-Brown: The Brown Division

With the passing of time it seems that the property came entirely under the control of the Skinner family. David and Margaret had at least four children, Jean Jacques (1766 – 1832) being the eldest, followed by Thomas (born 1771), Elisabeth (1773 – 1854) and Margaret (born 1776). Of these we might have expected Jean Jacques Skinner to take the reins, but it appears that he was not interested. Instead the property came to the Brown family, who had been working with the Skinners for some time. Their significance in the story of the estate was perhaps cemented in place when John Lewis Brown (1769 – 1851), a merchant, ship owner and négociant, as well as proprietor of Château Brown in Pessac-Léognan, married Elisabeth Skinner, the granddaughter of Jacques Boyd. Although at first working in partnership, the settling of debts during the course of 1806 meant that the estate came into the possession of Brown. Of note, John Lewis Brown was related to the famous artist of the same name, John Lewis Brown. Many authors conflate the two individuals, but they have not done their research well; our John Lewis Brown (1769 – 1851) was active in Bordeaux from the late 18th century onwards, whereas the artist John Lewis Brown (1829 – 1890), pictured below in a painting by Giovanni Boldini (1842 – 1931), was born many years later. The two were nevertheless related; I believe they were grandfather and grandson.

Château Cantenac-Brown

Despite what seems like some acrimonious dealings between members of the three families involved, their wines seem to have been well received at this time. The estate saw a number of successes, including an impressive ranking in a number of classifications.

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