Charles de Guigné
April 23, 1939 - August 9, 2017
Charles de Guigné, a fourth-generation California native and former vintner, died peacefully at his home in Monterey after a lengthy illness on August 9, 2017.
Born April 23, 1939 in San Francisco, Charles was the son of business executive Christian de Guigné III and Eleanor Christenson de Guigné, an elegant mainstay of the "International Best-Dressed List," who gifted much of her haute couture collection to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
His great-grandfather, Count Christian de Guigné descended from French nobility and, after moving to America, co-founded the Stauffer Chemical and Leslie Salt companies. His great-grandmother, Mary Katherine Parrott, was the daughter of a Gold Rush-era banker whose family estate on the Peninsula gave rise to the Baywood neighborhood in San Mateo.
After graduating from Columbia University with a BA degree in 1973, Charles worked as an executive sales representative with Stauffer Chemical Company. In 1976, he moved to France to assume management of the de Guigné family wine business at Chateau Senejac in the Le Pian-Medoc region of Bordeaux.
During nearly a quarter-century in France, Mr. de Guigné completely renovated the aging wine production facilities at Senejac, replacing them with state-of-the-art equipment that enabled him to produce very high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon Blanc. In 1999, he sold Chateau Senejac and the family winery to Lorraine Cordier, owner of the renowned Chateau Talbot winery, and retired to his California residence in Pebble Beach.
In addition to successfully managing the family winery, Mr. de Guigné was an ardent outdoorsman. He loved sports, from playing tennis or golf or skiing in the Swiss Alps or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Aconcagua, the Pyrenees, to extended treks in the lower Atlas Mountains or the great sand dunes of Tunisia. He was also a member of the Cypress Point Club.
Mr. de Guigné was also an enormously kind individual who cared deeply about people as well as animal welfare. He contributed generously to many charitable and philanthropic organizations, including: The Salvation Army, The Monterey SPCA, The Community Hospital Foundation, The Animal Rescue Project and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Mr. de Guigné is survived by his older brother, Christian de Guigné IV; his first cousins Axel de Tristan, Geraldine Forrester, Ronna Hoffman and Eleanor Graff; and his very special and close friend of 13 years, Diane B. Wilsey.
A private reception celebrating the life of Mr. de Guigné will held at a future date.