Another Villeneuve, who was also a parliamentary councillor, succeeded Pierre before the arrival at the head of the estate of his son, the knight Joseph-Emmanuel de Villeneuve Durfort. It was he who appeared before the assembly of the nobility in 1789 and became the last Baron of Macau. In the same year, Sauves became the residence of the Barons of Villeneuve and the seat of their jurisdiction. At this time it was a building of unadorned walls with two wings forming a courtyard; in the interior angle a medieval watchtower was built, salvaged from the old château when it was demolished.
After the death of Joseph-Emmanuel Villeneuve Durfort, his son Jean Villeneuve Durfort (1757–1834), an emigrant to Holland during the Revolution and mayor of Macau after returning from exile, inherited the domain.
On December 13, 1834, Jean de Villeneuve Durfort died, leaving Cantemerle to his son, Pierre Jules. The new Baron de Villeneuve was still legally a minor, so responsibility for the domain fell to his mother, born Caroline Joséphine Françoise Josèphe de Lalande.
Nine years after coming into possession of Cantemerle, Pierre Jules de Villeneuve Durfort died suddenly in August 1844. At 29 years of age, he left no will. Control of the property returned to his mother Caroline, and his 22-year-old sister Jeanne Armande, Baronne d’Abbadie (1812–1891); together they actively managed and developed the domain.
In 1845, this led her to enter into legal proceedings, still described twenty years later as "a trial that has remained famous in the Gironde". In that year, Pierre Chadeuil, the new owner of Pibran, a neighbouring vineyard, began to label his wines "Chadeuil Cantemerle Château Pibran". He claimed that the name 'Cantemerle' had long since been associated not only with the private estate of the Villeneuve family, but also with all the lands surrounding it and that, as such, he was fully justified in incorporating 'Cantemerle' into the name of his wine because it represented its region of origin (naturally, the fact that this may lead to confusion with another wine, the quality and reputation of which would enable him to sell at prices well in excess of the majority of growths in the parish was a matter of pure coincidence - at least, according to Chadeuil). However, Madame Villeneuve Durfort did not see the matter in the same light. Producing documents dating from the 1570s, when the Villeneuve family had acquired the estate, she proved that Chadeuil's claims were without foundation. Her case was sufficiently well-documented and conclusive for all mention of Cantemerle to be removed from Chadeuil's labels, on top of which he was obliged to pay damages, as well as courts costs.
In 1852, Fleuret-Jean-Baptiste, Count of Lavergne, was a pioneer in the fight against powdery mildew. The first attempts to control it, by dusting the vines with sulphur, were carried out at the château of Cantemerle. He was rewarded for his efforts with several medals and a prize from the Academy of Bordeaux.