Address: Château Haut-Bailly 33850 Léognan France
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 64 75 11
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Cru Classé de Graves (red wine only), Pessac-Léognan, 30ha, sandy-gravel on sandstone/fossils
Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 64%, Merlot Noir 30%, Cabernet Franc 6%
Haut-Bailly’s vineyard – on an elevated sandstone ridge – dates from 1530 when two wealthy Gascon merchants pieced together prime vine plots for exploitation. In the 17th century, the vines attracted wealthy Parisian banker Firmin Le Bailly (he not only contributed his name but also built the manor) and a century later Bordeaux parlimentarians Christophe de Lafaurie and son Laurent (once mayor of the city). Yet Haut-Bailly’s breakthrough came in 1872 with its sale to Alcide Bellot – his business sense and passion for the vine soon sent prices and reputation soaring. In the mid 20th century winemerchant Daniel Saunders and son Jean modernised the estate considerably, and further ronovations have been undertaken by today’s owner American banker Robert G Williams. Daniel Sander’s great granddaughter Véronique is estate manager.