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Les Cinq Premiers Grands Crus Classés Médoc et Graves
The history of this illustrious Graves terroir has been closely linked to that of Burdigala and Bordeaux for two thousand years. This exceptional site is the birthplace of the Grand Crus of the Gironde. It was here that the very concept of a “cru”, linked to a unique terroir, saw the light of day and where a new style of wine, such as we know today, was created: “New French Claret”.
Haut-Brion has been privileged to witness each era, whether at the family dinner table or at banquets organised by illustrious historical figures. Its name is a guarantee of exceptional quality, with a unique label and a wine produced on the same land for more than 500 years.
The vines have been grown under the auspices of several empires, nations and cultures. From the Celts to the Romans, as well as the Visigoths, Vandals, Franks, Vikings, Umayyads and the English, many peoples have passed through, but the vineyard has remained.
The great vineyards have always maintained a close relationship with the port of Bordeaux. Ports and wines have always promoted commerce and the exchange of ideas and cultures. The Cité du Vin, whose structure is reminiscent of a swirling glass of wine rooted to the water’s edge, celebrates and promotes our Global Wine Culture while opening the doors of our beautiful city to all those who want to enter and drink from the cup of our illustrious common civilisation.
We are honoured and proud to be part of this brave, ambitious and visionary project.
Château Lafite Rothschild
Château Lafite Rothschild was bought by Baron James de Rothschild in 1868 and has been the property of the Rothschild family for five generations.
The Grands Crus classification at the 1855 Paris Exhibition designated it “Premier des Premiers” (Best of the Best). The oldest vine plot, called “La Gravière”, was planted in 1886.
Our terroir and our vines are our most precious heritage. We protect them and develop them each year, always with the same objectives of tradition and quality and with an eye on the future. In the same vein, we decided, along with the other Médoc and Graves Premiers Grands Crus Classés, to team up with the Cité du Vin to continue to promote and publicise Bordeaux as the capital of wine creation. The didactic approach of this institution is a precious tool for the development of the region and its future generations.
Château Latour’s vineyard, a Premier Grand Cru Classé of 1855, is in Pauillac on the banks of the Gironde estuary. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines, some of them a hundred years old, are the undisputed master of the Médoc and particularly relish the gravel hills and clay subsoils on the estate. A subtle alchemy then takes place between the climate and geography to create the unique identity and complexity of Château Latour’s terroir.
The Château Latour estate is the custodian of a historic, geographic and wine heritage and also a cultural one. The Cité du Vin has the same commitment to preserving and enhancing Wine culture. This heritage is not only limited to the vines, it is an element of civilisation which often permeates the history, geography, economy and gastronomy of a region.
Château Margaux incorporates the greatest and the weakest of human destinies. Its history bears the imprints of the families which have succeeded each other as well as the hazards of nature. For more than four centuries the innovations of some, the talent of others and especially their shared passion, have progressively developed Château Margaux wine into an excellent one. From the end of the 17th century it became part of the emerging elite “Premiers Crus” well before being designated by the 1855 official classification. Corinne Mentzelopoulos, who succeeded her father on his death in 1980, presides over the future of Château Margaux which is joining the Cité des Civilisations du Vin project to promote our region, its great history, the magic of its terroir, the passion of its people and its excellent wines.
Château Mouton Rothschild
The purchase of Château Mouton Rothschild in 1853 by Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild marked the arrival of this famous family of bankers and patrons on the Bordeaux wine scene. From 1924 to 2014, the estate had only two owners, both of whom were exceptional personalities: Baron Philippe and then his daughter Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, whose three children, Philippe and Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, have taken over with the same passion and sense of family continuity.
A Premier Cru Classé whose prestige is world-renowned, Château Mouton Rothschild has built up a unique reputation not only thanks to the excellence of its wine but also because of the close ties it maintains with the art world through its Museum of Wine in Art and its labels which are illustrated by famous contemporary artists.
Château Mouton Rothschild’s commitment to the Cité du Vin, agreed originally by Baroness Philippine, demonstrates a conviction intimately shared by the current owner: that the art of wine also deserves a centre of its own in our cultural heritage and that Bordeaux is undoubtedly its world capital.