Pessac-Léognan - Wilmers Family
The vineyard is believed to have been created during the 16th century by a rich family from the Pays Basque region. By 1630 it was acquired by the Parisian banker Firmin Le Bailly, who gave his name to the estate. In 1955, the property was bought by the Belgian wine merchant Daniel Sanders, beginning a prosperous period of quality and restored reputation. Though known for his meticulous control, there was near the end of Sanders' life a perceived dip in quality in the 1970s, as he was reluctant to release management control to his son, but this eventually happened at his death in 1980, and Jean Sanders was able to resume progress. For several years the late Oenologist Emile Peynaud was retained at Haut-Bailly.
The current owner, since 1998, is the estate of the late American banker Robert G. Wilmers who died on 16 December 2017, with Daniel Sanders' grand daughter Veronique Sanders functioning as general manager, and Gabriel Vialard employed as technical manager.
The soil consists of sand mixed with the gravel that gives the Graves appellation its name. From a 32-hectare (79-acre) estate, the vineyard area extends 28 hectares (69 acres) with the plantings are divided up as 65% Cabertnet Sauvignon 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
The grapes for Haut-Bailly are harvested by hand, processed, and then fermented for up to ten days in both temperature controlled stainless steel and concrete vats of varying sizes. After maceration the wines are aged for eighteen months in oak barrels, many of which are new.
In total the estate produces 150,000 bottles annually. In a typical vintage, between thirty and forty percent of the wine is relegated to the estate's second wine, La Parde de Haut-Bailly, produced since 1967, but under the name Domaine de la Parde until 1979. A generic Pessac-Léognan third wine, titled Pessac-Léognan by Chateau Haut-Bailly, has been produced since 1987. Unlike many producers from the Graves appellation, no white wine is made at Haut-Bailly.