It’s amazing when you realize that the birth of what we know of as Chateau Margaux dates back almost 1,000 years! In the 12th century, the property was known under the name of “La Mothe de Margaux,” which was reserved for use by royalty. However, vineyards were not yet part of the estate.
The successive owners of La Mothe de Margaux were various people of noble birth. But it was only when the Lestonnac family took over, that the estate started resembling the property we know as Chateau Margaux today. Pierre de Lestonnac, in a ten year period, from 1572 to 1582, restructured the property and moved it from growing grain to producing Bordeaux wine. The vineyards of Chateau Margaux were fully developed in the 1600’s by the d’Auledes family.
By the end of the 17th century, the estate of Chateau Margaux grew to 265 hectares. One third of that acreage was by that time devoted to growing grapes to produce Bordeaux wine. Unlike many properties, the vineyards of Margaux have remained relatively unchanged cor centuries. To illustrate that point, by 1680, the vineyards were 75 hectares of vines. Today, 350 years later, the vineyards are almost the same at 80 planted hectares of vines. From those humble beginnings, Chateau Margaux was born. Due to the amazing quality of the wine, the estate took the name of the appellation. Even today, the only Bordeaux wine estate to bear the name of the appellation from where it resides remains Chateau Margaux.
Chateau Margaux is a traditional Bordeaux winery. In some ways, they are slow to move into new technology. They take their time to make sure each step forward is the right step forward. Yet, interestingly modern wine making started at Chateau Margaux. This was due to man named Berlon who was the first Bordeaux wine maker at Margaux to vinify red grapes and white grapes separately. At the time, the red and white vines were mixed in the same plots. Berlon also never picked fruit early in the morning, as the grapes would be covered with dew which made the wines dilute in color and flavor. Berlon was also one of the first Bordeaux wine vineyard managers to understood the importance of soils and differences in terroir found in different parcels.
for more InfoWith thanks to Jeff Leve from http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com, for the invaluable information