Château Belgrave is a winery in the Haut-Médoc appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of eighteen Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
Originally a highly reputed hunting pavilion during the reign of Louis XV, the expansion of the vineyards was particularly influenced by the Coutanceau family, whose name was first adopted for the estate’s wines during the classification of Bordeaux wines carried out by Guillaume Lawton in 1815. The “Bellegrave” designation first appeared in 1845, when Bruno Devès, a negociant in Bordeaux, remodelled the estate, favouring vine growing on the finest gravel terroirs. He built residences, tank rooms and wineries, and constructed the existing residence on the site of the original hunting pavilion. The wine was classified as a 5th growth in 1855, still bearing the name of Coutanceau, whilst the “Belgrave” name was only to be attributed at the beginning of the 20th century by Marcel Alibert, founder of the Syndicate of Crus Classés, and owner of the estate for almost 30 years. The link between the wine and hunting explains the ferret that features on the packaging, and also the name “Diane de Belgrave” given to its second wine.
Situated at the extremities of the St-Julien appellation, separated from its neighbour Château Lagrange by only a stream, Château Belgrave is one of the oldest Cru vineyards in the Médoc. In 1855 it was classified as a 5th growth because of the exceptional quality of its deep gravel soils. The soils at Château Belgrave show remarkable diversity. Two hillocks made up of gravel and pebbles deposited thousands of years ago by the Garonne river, overlying a bed of clay, rise to 23 and 26 metres. This type of soil is favourable to late-ripening grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit-Verdot, which now covers 4% of the surface area following remodelling of the vineyard. The gravel thins towards the foot of the hillocks, where the soil is a combination of gravel and sand offering good drainage, and clay outcrops, which are particularly adapted to the cultivation of Merlot.
Château Belgrave produces a second wine called Diane de Belgrave, introduced with the 1987 vintage.