This was designed by the architect Louis Combes, a student of Victor Louis, and is still much admired. Count Pillet-Will, who took over the property in 1879, also contributed to the vineyard's fame. The chateau and its 260 hectares of vineyards now belong to the Chateau Margaux SCA. The future of this First Growth, classified in 1855, is now in the hands of Corinne Mentzelopoulos. Though its size is impressive, this Bordeaux vineyard is cultivated with attention to the smallest detail and dedication to quality. Only rigorously selected wines have the honor of bearing the Chateaux Margaux label. As a result of this strict selection, a second wine is now produced with the label Pavilion Rouge du Chateau Margaux. The quality is comparable, but this wine is ready to drink much earlier.
For more than a century a small area of about twelve hectares of fine gravel has been reserved for growing Sauvignon Blanc. This produces a small quantity of dry, original, and subtle white Bordeaux wine, the Pavilion Blanc du Château Margaux.
Médoc (AOC) Bordeaux Wine Region
Geographically, the Médoc is the long triangular peninsula that stretches from the Jalle (stream) of Blanquefort north-west of Bordeaux to the tip of Graves, between the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Gironde river on the east.
The vineyard itself, however, occupies a much smaller area, almost all of which follows the banks of the river between Blanquefort in the south and Saint-Vivien-de-Médoc to the north. On the west the vineyard is bordered by the pine forest facing the Atlantic, which protects the vines from the ocean winds. Because of the frosts that the forest attracts, which stop the vines from growing, from time to time the vineyard has been reduced in size. Established along the estuary of the Gironde, the Médoc wine-growing region occupies a favored and practically unique position.
The vineyard is sandwiched between two major bodies of water, the ocean and the estuary, which create one of the best possible microclimates: small variations in temperature and a reasonable amount of humidity which, combined with the heat and sunlight, are particularly beneficial to the grapes when they are ripening.
The vines grow on a succession of gravelly ridges (Günz gravel), the remains of ancient alluvium deposited by glaciers from the Pyrenees and the Massif Central, which have been broken up as they were eroded by the river.
This gravelly soil is poor and ill-suited to any cultivation but vines and forests. However, because of its permeability, it is ideal for producing quality wines—the vine roots have to penetrate deeply into the soil to find water and other elements essential to their development.
The quality of wines produced in the Médoc varies according to the percentage of each grape variety used: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit-Verdot. According the definition of the Médoc AOC, this appellation covers all the terroirs and wine-growing communes of the Médoc peninsula, including those of the Haut-Médoc AOC.
In reality, though, Médoc AOC wines are produced mainly by the communes to the north and north-west of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, such as those of Chateaux Tour Haut-Caussan, d'Escurac, les Ormes Sorbet, Potensac, Patache d'Aux, and Tour-de-By.
Médoc AOC wines are enchanting in more ways than one. The variety of soils, the proportion of grape varieties used (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit-Verdot) and the individual styles of the winemakers result in wines which, despite a family resemblance, have their own personalities and qualities, which makes them all the more charming.
Wine-lovers will find in Médoc from Bordeaux wine region an infinite range of sensations and pleasures for all the senses.