The winery is located in the municipality Margaux in the eponymous area in the Médoc (Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux). The origin goes back to a property called "La Mothe de Margaux" of the Albret family in the 12th century. After several changes of ownership, the Lestonnac family gave the estate its present extension with 260 hectares of land with gardens and magnificent sycamore avenues. In 1802, the Marquis de La Colonilla acquired it and demolished the old gothic mansion and had the château built. In 1977, the winery was bought by the naturalized Greek André Mentzelopoulos by 72 million francs (9.15 million euros) the previous owner Pierre Ginestet. The new owner again invested at least the same amount in a new underground cellar, as well as vineyards, gardens, buildings and facilities.
With the support of the famous oenologist Professor Émile Peynaud (1912-2004) profound changes were made, which after more than a decade of drought with more average wines already in the excellent and outstanding year 1978 impacted. After the owner's death in 1980, the listed company was continued by its daughter Corinne as CEO. The former Fiat boss Giovanni Agnelli owned but with 75%, the majority of the shares. After his death in January 2003, the Agnelli heirs sold the share, with the Microsoft boss Bill Gates was mentioned as an interested party. Finally, Corinne Mentzelopoulos took over all Agnelli shares and is now the sole shareholder. Paul Pontallier has been the general manager since 1983.
In the Bordeaux Classification In 1855, the estate was placed in the elite of the top five "Premier Cru Classé". It is also referred to as the "crown jewel of Médoc" and its wine as a model of elegance and finesse. The vineyards of gravel and stone on clay underground cover 93 hectares of vineyards, of which 81 hectares are planted with red and 12 hectares with white varieties. These are Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (5%), as well Sauvignon Blanc (100%). The extremely long-lived red wine will be 18 to 24 months in 100% new barriques expanded. Every year about 300,000 bottles are produced. This red wine should be opened only after 15 years. The best vintages after the Second World War are 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1966, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2000.
The second wine is called "Pavillon Rouge" and has the same maturity conditions as the first wine. The Château is one of the few Bordeaux wineries that also produces excellent white wines. The "Pavillon Blanc" is pressed by a vineyard in Soussans varietal from the variety Sauvignon Blanc. The long-lived wine develops after four to five years of storage. Every year, around 40,000 bottles are produced.
Several bottles of the year 1787 were in the possession of US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), who was US Ambassador to France at that time. One of them was in 1987 by the famous wine author Michael Broadbent (* 1927) tasted and judged as follows: "Bouquet with great richness and depth with lively, full taste and perfect leaving " . The wine merchant William Sokolin (1930-2015) hosted an exquisite dinner at New York's Four Seasons restaurant in 1989, where a Château Margaux was sold out (allegedly) to Jefferson's estate for $ 500,000. But before it could be put on sale, it was broken inadvertently. The bottle was insured and the insurance paid $ 225,000; she is one of the (never consumed) most expensive wine bottles in the world,
The US actress and model Margot Louise Hemingway (1954-1996) was the granddaughter of the famous writer and Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961). After learning that she was named after the wine of the Château Margaux, which her parents had drunk on the night she was born, she changed the spelling of her first name from "Margot" to "Margaux".