Grapes have been grown on the site of Haut-Brion since Roman times, however, the estate itself dates from the mid 1500s when it was owned by the Pontac family. The wine has a rich history and was mentioned as ‘Ho Bryan’ by Samuel Pepys in 1663. It was the first 1st Growth to be imported into America when Thomas Jefferson bought 6 cases and shipped them home to Virginia. After the Revolution, the Château was eventually purchased by Joseph Eugene-Larrieu and was the only château outside the Médoc to be classified as a 1st Growth in 1855. After a period of decline in the early 20th Century Clarence Dillon, an American banker, acquired Haut-Brion. Dillon’s great-grandson Prince Robert of Luxembourg is the current custodian and the Delmas family have headed the wine-making at Haut-Brion for the last three generations.
Château Haut-Brion is located in the Pessac-Léognan appellation which is situated in the north of Graves and after the expansion of the city of Bordeaux, borders its outlying suburbs.
Haut-Brion is famed for its smoky spice flavours and can be recognised by a distinct aroma of truffles. The relatively higher proportion of Merlot compared to other first growths adds to the wine’s velvety texture and concentrated red fruit flavours.
During the last decade, Haut-Brion has benefited the least of the 1st Growths from rising global demand and has slightly lagged behind in price. However, in 2010 Haut-Brion was second most imported wine into China showing the potential of this outstanding wine is just being realised worldwide.
The second wine of Haut-Brion is Le Clarence de Haut-Brion.