About Château Margaux

By Lisa Rowlands

Located at the centre of the AOC that shares its name, Château Margaux - historically referred to as La Mothe de Margaux (The Margaux Mound) on account of its elevation - is a two-hundred-and-fifty hectare estate responsible for some of the world’s most celebrated red wines. Two fifths of its area is dedicated to the vine, with eighty-seven hectares for red varieties and twelve for the cultivation of Sauvignon Blanc grapes which are vinified to form the property’s only white offering, Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux.

Typical of Margaux AOC and all of the left bank appellations, Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme on the estate’s unique terroir of free-draining coarse and fine gravel with chalky clay sub-soils. The principal grape accounts for 75% of all plantings, and whilst it varies with each vintage, generally constitutes between 85% and 90% of the final blend. Merlot is planted on 20% of the property’s plots with the remainder comprised of the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot varieties. These three supporting grapes make up the final 10% - 15% of the Grand Vin in various proportions depending on the particular conditions of each year.

As well as its Premier Grand Cru Classé Grand Vin, Margaux produces two further red wines (Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux and Margaux du Château Margaux) as well as the afore mentioned white. Each are the result of careful practice and precision in both the vineyard and the cellar, with pruning, planting, ploughing and protecting the vines from the threat of viticultural hazards all essential at various times of the year. Thinning of fruits from certain vines to encourage ripening of the best clusters is also key, as well as the importance of good trellising to avoid entanglement in such densely planted plots (vines are planted at a density of 10,000 plants per hectare as is the norm for Bordeaux’s elite estates). In the winery, the same meticulous, attention to detail continues with stringent fruit selection, fermentation in temperature controlled vats and ageing in new oak for a period of eighteen to twenty-four months, with racking taking place at three / four month intervals.