Chateau Margaux is renowned as one of the most elite wines of Bordeaux. Several owners used their know-how and fearlessness to transform Chateau Margaux into the sophisticatedly elegant domain that we know today.
12th Century origins
In the 12th century Chateau Margaux was known as “La Mothe de Margaux”, or the Margaux mound. La Mothe de Margaux did not have any vines planted. However, this mound stood out because of the typically flatness of the Medoc region. This mound provides natural drainage, which helps facilitate the production of a great wine. The Lestonnac family is responsible for constructing the Chateau Margaux that has become globally recognized. Pierre Lestonnac completely restructured the property and vineyard in 10 years, starting in 1572. At the end of the 17th century, Chateau Margaux occupied 265 hectares of land that would not be divide. Since then, a third of the estate has been dedicated to the vines. Marquis de le Colonilla built the infamous castle in the early 1800’s. Chateau Margaux was the only chateau to receive a perfect score of 20 from Napoleon III’s Grand Cru Classification, earning the title of Classified First Growth.
Adversity breeds creativity
At the end of the 19th century, phylloxera destroyed Bordeaux vineyards. The 1893 vintage was proof that the chateau had recovered and exceeded all expectations. Andre Mentzelopoulos, from Greece, purchased the property in 1977. Under Andre and his daughter, Corinne, Chateau Margaux has become much more than imagined.
Andre renovated the chateau and invested heavily in modern wine making techniques. Corinne succeeded her father after he passed in 1980. She has done a magnificent job following the developments that her father had incorporated. Corinne decided to launch capsules of authenticity, to combat fraud, in 2013. Norman Foster, a revered British architect, was commissioned to design new cellars combining tradition and modernity. Chateau Margaux has a rich history, and are ready to evolve as time goes on.
A strong foundation: the terroir of Chateau Margaux
The property is still 265 hectares, many centuries later. 78 hectares are used for vines, the grape varieties planted are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc. The soil is composed of clay and gravel. Without this terroir, Chateau Margaux would not be able to produce the fine, smooth, elegant wines that we have come to know and love. It is not only the plants that are responsible for the wine. The late Paul Pontallier, contributed greatly to the creativity and know-how needed to keep Chateau Margaux on its pursuit of excellence. Corinne Mentzelopoulos worked very closely with Paul, as he was a close advisor of her father. Chateau Margaux has changed over the years. The team harvested wheat and grains and then began to produce wine at a time that others were not. Thanks to the dedication of the owners and their creativity, Chateau Margaux has been a benchmark for excellence and continues to be in the world of wine.