The story of our winery, the Ponty Winery, starts in 1905. Victor Ponty came from a large family of farmers from the French region of Correze, but he yearned for a different way of life. Victor was passionate about wine, and was inspired by the idea that he could bring people together, create love, and mend friendship through wine. However, he originally shied away from a world that seemed so different from his.
One day, finding himself lost in the small village of Fronsac in Bordeaux, a chance encounter with a soft-spoken (and beautiful!) school teacher helped him realize that there were small villages where winemakers cared most about craft, authenticity, and the experience of enjoying wine together. She introduced him to the time-honored expertise of the local vintners, the purity and simplicity of their rituals, and their seemingly innate sense of winemaking derived from years of observing their ancestors. Victor made it his life’s mission to preserve this philosophy and pass it on to his son and grandson. Today, his inspiration still guides all of our work in the vineyard and the cellar.
Founding of Ponty Winery
Victor Ponty discovers the village of Canon Fronsac, on the right bank of Bordeaux, and falls in love with a local school teacher named Elizabeth. He decides to settle in Canon Fronsac and spends 20 years learning winemaking from local vintners.
Purchase Château du Pavillon
Impressed by his dedication, the owners of Château du Pavillon decide to choose Victor to take over their vineyards after they retire. Victor finally has his own estate.
Victor's son Jean joins the winery and purchases the Château Grand Renouil Vineyard to expand the family winery.
Second World War
Château du Pavillon is requisitioned for German soldiers during the war. Victor and his family are forced to live in the attic. Despite their insistence, he famously bars them from entry to his wine cellar.
Jean's eldest son Francois joins the family winery. He helps develop clientele in the North of France and in Belgium. We also start producing Chateau Grand Renouil's second wine, Petit Renouil.
Michel Ponty joins the winery and takes over from Francois. At the same time, he decides to create Canon Fronsac's first white wine: Blanc de Grand Renouil.
Michel's daughter Helene joins the winery and helps develop our export markets, particularly in China, where we open an office to control our distribution in this growing market.