Chateau Haut-Brion was laid out in 1533 by Jean de Pontac, which makes it the oldest wine estate in Bordeaux. The vineyard is located in the commune of Pessac, just a few miles southwest of Bordeaux’s city centre. It belongs to the Pessac-Léognan appellation, to the north of the Graves wine-growing region.
The terrain at Haut-Brion, formed of two large mounds of a type of gravel known as Gunzian rises between 40 and 50 feet above the beds of neighbouring streams. This gravel consists of small stones, including various kinds of quartz, and it is these precious gems that help to give Chateau Haut-Brion’s wines their distinctive character.
The vineyard covers an area of 51 hectares. Slightly more than 48 hectares are planted with red grape varieties(Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) and just under 3 hectares are devoted to white grape varieties (Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc). Chateau Haut-Brion produces extraordinary wine; at its best it displays perfect Graves characteristics of cigar-box, brambly fruit, smoky earthiness, and cassis. Compared to the Médoc First Growths, it has a high Merlot content, which gives it a beautiful roundness without diminishing its ageing potential.