There are many wine producers in the world, but few have the legacy and history of Chateau Haut Brion. This winery has been producing some of the best wine in the world for centuries and is considered a pioneer in the industry. In this article, we will discuss five interesting facts about Chateau Haut Brion that you may not know!
It basically has the same name as Chateau Lafite
The name Brion derives from the Celtic word Briga, which means hill or mound, very similar to the word Fite, which gave Chateau Lafite its name. The original Chateau Haut Brion was built on a hilltop overlooking the city of Bordeaux, and it served as a lookout point and defensive fortress in medieval times.
Many vineyards have a name that can be translated to, or is based on, a word for hill or rise. This is because vineyards are often built on hillsides for optimal sun exposure and drainage.
It’s technically a memorial vineyard
The first vines were planted in the area we now know as Haut-Brion by Menuts Monks to commemorate the recently deceased Monk, Johan d’Artiguemale, in the 14th century. The vineyard was originally known as Clos d’Artiguemale, but it was eventually renamed Chateau Haut Brion.
Since then the Chateau has gone on to become one of the most prestigious wine producers in the world, with a history dating back over 650 years.
Chateau Haut Brion is the oldest, continuously working winery in Bordeaux
Records show that full-time wine production started in the Chateau in 1521, making it the oldest, continuously working winery in Bordeaux. During that time it has passed through the hands of many different owners, but it is still producing some of the best wine in the region.
The vineyard is located in the Graves appellation
Chateau Haut Brion is located in the Graves appellation, which is one of the most prestigious and sought-after wine regions in Bordeaux. The soils here are composed of gravel and sand, which helps to produce wines with a lot of character and complexity.
The terroir of this particular appellation is so unique that it has been granted its own AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) designation. This means that the wine must be made from grapes that are grown in this specific area, and can only be sold as Graves wine.
Chateau Haut Brion has a long and illustrious history
Over the years, it has been enjoyed by some of the most famous wine lovers in the world, including Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte and King Edward VII.
The famous writer Samuel Pepys actually reviewed an early Haut Brion vintage in 1663, writing “There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan that hath a good and most particular taste I never met with.” This is considered by some to be the first professional wine review.
So there you have it, five top facts about Chateau Haut Brion, the oldest continuously working wine producer in Bordeaux and favourite of both kings and great writers!