Jean Gautreau discovered Sociando-Mallet in the village of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne in 1969 when looking for a wine estate to buy on behalf of a Belgian client. It was love at first sight, despite the fact that the property was in a sorry state. However, the terroir was excellent and the domain afforded a magnificent view overlooking the Gironde Estuary. Jean Gautreau immediately decided to acquire it for himself for 250,000 French francs.
He was helped by the fact that Sociando-Mallet's extraordinary terroir, consisting of Günz gravel with clay subsoil, is propitious to growing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and producing wines with wonderful freshness. Today, the property is comprised of 83 hectares producing nearly 450,000 bottles a year of Château Sociando-Mallet and the second wine, Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet. Jean Gautreau sold his négociant business in 2000 and now focuses entirely on managing his wine estate.