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Chateau Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan - Prince Robert of Luxembourg

Château Haut-Brion is a French wine, rated a Premier Cru Classé (First Growth), produced in Pessac just outside the city of Bordeaux. It differs from the other wines on the list in its geographic location in the north of the wine-growing region of Graves. Of the five first growths, it is the only wine with the Pessac-Léognan appellation and is in some sense the ancestor of a classification that remains the benchmark to this day.


Chateau Haut-Brion has one of the longest and most interesting histories of any Bordeaux vineyard. The property derives its name from an ancient Celtic term “Briga.” Loosely translated, this means a rise or mound in the land. This unique terroir was first prized for growing grapes to produce Bordeaux wine close to 600 years ago! Documents are available showing that Johanna Faure grew vines at Haut Mont near what we now know of as Haut-Brion. Those ancient records are dated September 6, 1426! The vines were planted to produce wine for a local chapel that was founded in Bordeaux by the Menuts Monks to remember the recently deceased Monk, Johan d’Artiguemale. 

1935 began a new era for Chateau Haut-Brion, taking place in the middle of the depression. Clarence Dillon, a New York financier purchased Haut Brion May 1935. In 1979 at the age of 96, Clarence Dillon passed away. He was almost the same age as the founder of Haut Brion, Jean de Pontac when he died. 

In 1967, the grand daughter of Clarence Dillon, Joan Dillon married Prince Charles of Luxembourg, a direct descendant of Henri IV. In 1975, the Princess, Clarence Dillon’s grand-daughter, took control of managing Chateau Haut Brion. hb delmas 61 Chateau Haut Brion Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide After the death of Prince Charles of Luxembourg, in 1978, Princess Joan married the Duke de Mouchy. The Duke de Mouchy joined the team of Haut Brion and Domaine Clarence Dillon alongside the Duchess, before retiring in 2003. That sense of continuity continues as today, as Prince Robert of Luxembourg took over managing Domaine Clarence Dillon and Chateau Haut Brion in 2008.


Château Haut-Brion devotes 48.35 hectares to red grape varieties, with a distribution of 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, and 2.87 ha to white grape varieties, distributed with 52.6% Sémillon and 47.4% Sauvignon blanc.

The vineyards are elevated, up to 27 meters, somewhat above the Bordeaux norm. The soil consists of Günzian gravel and some parcels have high contents of clay. All the vineyards are located in a cluster near the château itself and on the other side of the main road.


The annual production ranges from 10,000 to 12,000 cases of the red grand vin Château Haut-Brion, and from 650 to 850 cases of Château Haut-Brion Blanc.

In addition to the grand vin, Haut-Brion produces a red second wine. Formerly named Château Bahans Haut-Brion, beginning with the 2007 vintage, it was renamed Le Clarence de Haut Brion. The red Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has a production of 5,000 to 7,000 cases and the white La Clarté de Haut-Brion, previously named Les Plantiers du Haut-Brion, has a production of 1,000 to 1,200 cases.

The vineyard also produces a limited release of the second dry white wine, Les Plantiers du Haut-Brion, renamed La Clarté de Haut-Brion for the 2008 vintage. Since 2003, Domaine Clarence Dillon's daughter company, Clarence Dillon Wines, has also released the Bordeaux brand wine named Clarendelle.