Wine is an amazing commodity that has been developed for thousands of years. It has taken many forms, such as fizzy wine and rice wine, but some of the best vintages and amazing techniques have come from the vineyards of the esteemed Chateau Margaux.
The Chateau is located in southwestern France, part of the Bordeaux wine region. It achieved Premier cru (first growth) in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855 and is one of only four wines to have achieved such accolades.
The long history of the Chateau Margaux can be traced back, at its earliest, to the twelfth century. Originally it was the site of a motte and bailey castle, known as La Mothe, and it wasn’t until the fifteenth century that wine began to be produced on the site under the name ‘Margous’.
A century later, the arrival of the Lestonnac family saw wine production rise to importance on the site. Pierre de Lestonnac expanded the estate, clearing much of the land and planting vines in their place to create an amazing vineyard. The line of succession was straight forward following Lestonnac. However, it followed the female line and thus many different names can be accredited to the proprietors of the estate leading up to the eighteenth century.
At the turn of the eighteenth century, the estate had become largely what it remains to the modern day. It had become largely devoted to viticulture, with famed estate manager Bertrand Douat developing many inventive techniques; these included not collecting dew covered grapes (to prevent dilution), acknowledging the importance of soil quality and other such ideas that have become standard in the modern age. Today, the estate is owned by Corinne Mentzelopoulos who has helped restore it to the glory of the vintage that was lost slightly in the Bordeaux economic crisis.
Over five centuries, this estate has seen the rise of Bordeaux as one of the premier wine regions of the world. It has followed, continued and even developed some of the greatest legacies in viticulture.
The Chateau has over six-hundred-and-fifty acres of land, which is divided into vines for merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit Verdot and other such delectable wine grapes. From these grapes around 150,000 bottles are produced annually. Any “lesser grapes” that make up the rest of the production are sold off in bulk; not quite meeting the standard that the Chateau Margaux is famous for. This was a directive declared in 1965, as the then owner Pierre Ginestet chose not to affix the vintage year to lesser wines following the custom of Champagne.
The estate also produces a dry white Pavillion Blanc and a Pavillon Rouge, but these do not hold to the Margaux appellation directives and are sold under the Bordeaux AOC. Still, stunning vintages that make any wine collection sing with appreciation.
Whether you have wine from Chateau Margaux or not, it deserves to be preserved in a luxurious spiral cellar.