A gentleman, officer, and aide-de-camp of the Prince of Wales, Charles Palmer was famous at the English court as a ladies man and for his military victories. He fell under the spell of Bordeaux as well as the charms of Marie de Gascq, a beautiful widow who convinced him to buy her estate.
Charles Palmer devoted a great deal of time, energy, and money to developing his property. The Major General lived mainly in England, and so the estate was managed by his authorized representative, Mr Grey, who helped to increase the wine's reputation among wealthy connoisseurs.
In June 1853, the brothers Isaac and Emile Péreire, famous bankers and rivals of the Rothschilds, bought Palmer and began investing in the estate immediately. However, there was not enough time to bring Château Palmer up to first growth status in time for the famous 1855 classification. It was thus ranked a Third Growth, although it is widely recognized as among the greatest wines of Bordeaux.
Several families of Bordeaux, English, and Dutch extraction all involved in the wine trade, united to buy Palmer in 1938 and have worked hard to give the estate its present reputation. These families have always given priority to quality, despite the financial risk this entailed. They have unfailingly applied the principles that have made the great wines of Bordeaux so successful: authenticity, quality, and permanence.