Until the 17th Century, the property formed part of the Haut-Brion estate when, in 1630 the land was bequeathed to a group of priests called the Lazarites of the Mission of Saint-Vincent de Paul. In 1698 the Lazarites built a chapel on the property and the wine they produced grew in reputation. During the Revolution, the land, like all church property, was confiscated and sold to Martial-Victor Vaillant.
The estate was eventually sold to Célestin Chiapelle who became an enthusiastic and accomplished winemaker. The Château remained in the same family for 100 years and records show that in the 1846 Cock’s classification, La Mission was ranked alongside the Fourth and Fifth Growths of the Médoc. Later generations of the family did not uphold the exacting standards of Célestin and after a period of decline the property was sold to the Woltner family in 1918. By 1921 Henri Woltner assumed the running of La Mission, with skill and passion he became known as the proprietor of his generation and the wines he produced were some of the best of Bordeaux. This standard was maintained by other family members after Henri’s death in 1974, however, family discord led to the sale of the property to Domaine Clarence Dillon, owners of Haut-Brion. Despite the coming together of the two properties, Jean-Bernard and later Jean-Philippe Delmas, who oversaw the winemaking for both properties, managed to maintain La Mission’s unique identity that has led to its wines attracting much critical acclaim.
Situated close to the city of Bordeaux itself in the Pessac-Léognan region, La Mission sits on uniquely stony soil. The wine is rich, powerful and masculine, lacking the silkiness of its neighbour, Haut-Brion. This depth has led to Robert Parker giving six previous vintages a maximum of 100/100 points and many other critics putting it on par with the First Growths of the Médoc.