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Château Haut-Brion

★★★★ Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France - Notation DOMAINE 2024

Located in the city of Bordeaux, Haut Brion is a masterful cru which benefits from a very warm microclimate thanks to urbanization… Even in a less favourable year, they retain the fullness of their aromatic character, the famous "smoky" taste of Pessac and its astonishing capacity to become stronger with age.

To find out more


The history of Château Haut-Brion's lands goes back to the 1st century AD. A coin bearing the effigy of the Roman Emperor Claudius was found on a gravelly hillside. However, the first mention of a wine produced on these lands dates back to 1521. In 1533, Jean de Pontac acquired the estate, making this château the oldest of the Bordeaux Grands Crus. The construction of the château did not take place until 16 years later. Since then, this wine estate has changed owners three times.

Throughout its existence, Château Haut-Brion has never stopped developing and improving. The estate is particularly noted for its many innovations, which have contributed greatly to its success. Its techniques were then propagated throughout the Bordeaux vineyards, and then throughout the world!

Under the direction of Arnaud III de Pontac, Château Haut-Brion is, for example, at the origin of the "New French Claret" style of wine, the forerunner of all the red fine wines of today, thanks to the implementation of various conservation techniques (maceration, long ageing, topping up and racking)

In 1923, Château Haut-Brion was also one of the first estates to practice bottling at the château. Acquired by the American banker Clarence Dillon in 1935, the estate has since remained in the same family with Prince Robert of Luxembourg, his great-grandson, at the helm.

Over the centuries, many events have marked the rich and fascinating history of Château Haut-Brion, which cannot be missed!


On the occasion of the Paris Exposition Universelle, Château Haut-Brion received the rare distinction of "Premier Grand Cru Classé" in the prestigious 1855 classification alongside Châteaux Margaux, Lafite and Latour. It is the only red wine vineyard outside the Médoc.

Placed at the top of the hierarchy of the Pessac Léognan AOC Fine Wines, the red Château Haut-Brion, also a "Cru Classé de Graves", is born from the blending of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties.

Depending on the vintage, a small proportion of Petit Verdot may be added. Elegant and remarkably complex, this red wine is very mineral and surprisingly long-lasting.

A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, Château Haut-Brion white seduces with its aromatic richness, density and length.

Château Haut-Brion also produces a second wine called Clarence de Haut-Brion. In collaboration with Château La Mission Haut-Brion, it also produces the second white wine Clarté de Haut-Brion.


Situated in the commune of Pessac, at the gateway to Bordeaux, in the northern part of the Graves wine region, the vineyard of Château Haut-Brion covers an area of more than 50 hectares. Most of the vineyard is planted with red grape varieties: 48% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Vines of the Semillon (53%), Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris (47%) grape varieties are also grown.

The vineyard of Château Haut-Brion has a unique terroir and lies on a vast terrace of gravel, forming fine ridges. These are small pebbles composed of different varieties of quartz. Beneath these gravelly soils lies a subsoil of clay, limestone, sand and falun dating from the end of the Tertiary era. These gravel deposits, which vary in thickness from about twenty centimetres to more than three metres, benefit from an excellent exposure. The slopes guarantee natural drainage of the soil.


To discover the red wines of the estate, Clarence de Haut-Brion is an excellent introduction. This second wine has an elegance and style similar to that of the red Château Haut-Brion.

Produced since the early 20th century, it was formerly known as Château Bahans Haut-Brion. As of the 2017 vintage, it is renamed with its current name to pay tribute to Clarence Dillon.

Everything you need to know about Château Haut Brion

A bit of history

Probably one of the oldest properties from Bordeaux producing high quality wine

The history of Haut-Brion goes back to 1533, the forerunner of the principle of exporting wines abroad. It is also thanks to Haut-Brion and the Pontac that English people marveled at the wines of Bordeaux and more particularly of the Graves region.

Following the 1855 classification of all Bordeaux wines, Château Haut-Brion benefits from the Pessac-Léognan "Premier grand cru classé” appellation. This is not its only distinction. It is also classified among the "Crus Classés des Graves".

Haut-Brion is the only premier cru owned by American people. Acquired by the Dillon family when it was in very poor condition in 1935, the Haut-Brion estate has never stopped shining since.

The Château was built by Jean de Pontac in 1945. Located in Bordeaux, in the municipality of Pessac, this property remains to this day the fruit of many centuries of commitment, innovation and expenditure by several wine-producing families.

The reputation of the Graves vineyard is well established since it is a gravelly soil with a subsoil that is both clayey and sandy. This is ideal for the production of grapes.  

This château not only remain mythical, but the wine that comes out of it is also a legendary top quality product. It has become one of the best nobility wines of all time.

According to Robert Parker, Haut-Brion is: "the premier cru classé that produces the most elegant and aromatically complex wine in the world".

Red wines…

When tasting Château Haut Brion, you will find an exceptional and unique flavour that will awaken all the sensations of a wine lover.

The aromatic richness of this wine is immeasurable. It will make you live the present moment with the magic of a great wine.

Note that this wine is not the only red wine produced by Château Haut Brion. Indeed, the Château also produces a second red wine that was known as Château Bahans Haut-Brion which became the famous Clarence de Haut-Brion.

White wines…

The Haut-Brion white wine seems to be the best of all the Pessac-Léognan wines. Close to the opulence of the best Montrachet, it is however extremely intense, mineral and smoky.

At the request of the Dillon family, this wine has never been classified because of the small quantities produced.

→ Grape varieties:

- Red: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc.

- White: 63% Semillon, 37% Sauvignon Blanc.

→  Average age of the vines: 36 years for the red and 27 years for the white.

→  Maturity: - Within 10 to 40 years depending on the vintage, for the red wines.

- Within 5 to 30 years depending on the vintage, for the white wines.

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