Ancestor of the great wines, legendary vintage, Haut-Brion was born in 1525 when Jean de Pontac, Officer in Parliament of Bordeaux, Haut-Brion acquired the land by marriage and built there in 1550, building up the wing north of the present castle. Jean de Pontac and his descendants, Arnaud II Arnaud III de Pontac, managed by their patient efforts and research to produce a new type of wine that experienced in England, under the name of "New French Claret" a great success. There are traces of this wine at the court of King Charles II in 1660 and 1661.
This is the Count Joseph de Fumel, a descendant of de Pontac, who gave late eighteenth to the field its present size, and built the castle and its park. Following the revolution, the estate passed successively through several hands (including those of Talleyrand) in 1935, eventually leading to those of Clarence Dillon, a major US financial, Francophile and lover of wine, whose son was Minister and Ambassador of the United STATES Paris. Also in the family, the estate is now run by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, his grand-son.
The vineyards, with an area of 51 ha, are located almost in the city, near Bordeaux. They are planted on serious ground with sandy clay subsoil, in Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (42 to 44% each) and cabernet franc. A small area (less than 3 ha) is planted with Semillon (52%), Sauvignon (47%) and Petit Verdot (1%).
The estate produces a great wine in red and white, and a second wine, now named "Le Clarence de Haut-Brion" ("Bahans Haut-Brion" until 2006).
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