In 2007, Basile Tesseron joined his father in order to continue the work started by his grandfather, who had already initiated the young Basile into the subtleties of the aromas and flavours of cognac.
With passion, humour and ambition, Basile pursued the work of his predecessors enabling Lafon-Rochet to live on through the centuries.
He began by redesigning the vat room of the property, reviving the quest for excellence and quality in keeping with the exceptional terroir and the human and family values that have punctuated 5 centuries of adventure.
Lafon-Rochet is a story of wine, men and taste.
1999 – Wood and vine shoots
Until 1999 the family jointly managed Château Pontet-Canet and Lafon-Rochet but lost the Château Malescasse, so dear to Michel Tesseron. As part of the re organization, Alfred and his brother Gerard Tesseron took over Pontet-Canet, while Michel and his sister Caroline Poniatowska took over Lafon-Rochet. Michel spontaneously turned towards the Château “jaune”, so-called since he repainted it sunshine yellow in 2000.
Michel Tesseron first decided to renovate and modernize all the technical equipment necessary for production, like the magnificent circular, wooden wine cellar. In so doing he preserved the family’s core values of sharing, respecting the vines and vineyard and thus fulfilled his father’s dream.
When in 1960 Guy Tesseron, a master of old Cognac, took over the property, he had to start from scratch and rebuild the whole property. Thus began Chateau Lafon Rochet’s rebirth.
First he concentrated on the renovation of the fermenting room and the wine storehouse before tackling the mansion itself. He decided to demolish the whole building and create a new family home for Lafon-Rochet. The plans were for an elegant Chartreuse, which was quite unusual at the time.
It took almost ten years to restore the Château, the vineyard and infrastructures. This fresh start finally paid off in 1966. As the young Michel Tesseron recalls it was the first time that Lafon-Rochet was able to present a wine worthy of Quatrième Grand cru – fourth growth. The following year, 1967, was a great vintage paving the way for 1970, one of Lafon-Rochet’s most memorable vintages. In 1975 Guy Tesseron also took over the Château Pontet-Canet, then a few years later the Château Malescasse.
17th Century – The Substrate
Lafon-Rochet’s history dates back to the 17th century. The property was then known as the Domaine Rochet and belonged to Antoinette Guillemotes who renamed the estate Château Lafon-Rochet after her marriage with Etienne de Lafon..
Over the 150 years that followed, Etienne de Lafon’s heirs not only maintained the estate and coped with the various diseases and economic difficulties from which the vineyard suffered but also enabled Lafon-Rochet to enter the 1855 classification of the Grands crus du Médoc (the Great Growths of the Medoc).
At the dawn of the 20th century financial difficulties resurfaced and so new owners took over the Château. Thus began a long period of instability until the Tesseron family took over the estate in 1960.