Château Haut-Brion is a French wine, rated a Premier Grand Cru Classé (First Growth), produced in Pessac just outside the city of Bordeaux. It differs from the other wines on the list in its geographic location in the north of the wine-growing region of Graves. Of the five first growths, it is the only wine with the Pessac-Léognan appellation and is in some sense the ancestor of a classification that remains the benchmark to this day.
When he purchased Château Haut-Brion in 1935, Clarence
Dillon restored it to its former glory and to the elite circle of the most
legendary wines in the world. This extraordinary, bold, courageous vision is
now continued by the fourth generation of the family, represented by Prince
Robert of Luxembourg, Chairman since 2008. Located in the town of Pessac, just a few kilometres from Bordeaux, Château
Haut-Brion – the first of the three estates acquired by the Dillon family – is
the oldest winegrowing property in the region.
The property is situated just opposite that of
Château La Mission Haut-Brion and shares the same gravelly and elevated terrain
ideal for cultivating vines already referred to Haut-Brion on ancient maps and
deeds. The nature of the gravel at Château Haut-Brion, consisting of small
stones of various types of quartz, is a key element contributing to the
particularly valuable wine-growing potential of the soil. The gravel soil lies
on a single subsoil of clay, sand, limestone and falun (limestone shell)
established at the end of the Tertiary era, then during the Quaternary era
throughout the Ice Ages. From 20 centimetres to over 3 metres thick, the gravel
deposits form slopes that enjoy excellent exposure, with natural drainage
reinforced by a large hydrographic network of small water courses, as the
Peugue or the Serpent, tributaries of the Garonne.