The estate is located in the municipality of Cantenac Margaux
in the Médoc
(Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux). The origin is in the old Benedictine
by Vertheuil. The monks first planted a vineyard here for their own needs in the 16th century. The wine was later marketed as "Le Prieur de Cantenac". In the Bordeaux classification 1855
the estate received fourth place (Quatrième Cru Classé). After numerous owners it came through phylloxera
and the two world wars to total decline.
The wine journalist Alexis Lichine
(1913-1989) took it over in 1951 under the name Château Prieuré-Cantenac, today it received it in 1953. After more than 60 purchases and exchanges of parcels from Premier, Deuxième and Troisième Crus, he enlarged the property and managed it until his death. His son Sacha Lichine continued the business, expanded it to its present size and then sold it to the Ballande family in 1999. The vineyards cover 70 hectares of vineyards in the municipalities of Margaux, Cantenac, Labarde, Arsac and Soussans. They are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Merlot (40%), Petit Verdot (5%) and Cabernet Franc (1%). The long-lived red wine is aged for 18 months in 55% new barriques. The second wine is called "Château de Clairefont".