Léognan’s Château Haut-Bailly has one of the oldest histories in Bordeux. Dating as far back as the 15th century, this almost 70-acre estate is blessed with an incredible terroir mixed with sand, gravel and sandstone that is petrified with remnants of prehistoric fossil shells. Sitting atop a high ridge with ideal drainage, the vineyards also enjoy what is called an oceanic micro-climate. Due to this extensive history, as much as 20% of the vines – a mixture of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon – are over a century old, with the newer ones representing 65% Cabernet Sauvigon, 25% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.
Successfully owned by several families over the years, Haut-Bailly hit a low point in the early 20th century, mostly due to poor management by then owner, Franz Malvesin. This dip turned around in the mid-1950s, when Belgian wine merchant Daniel Sanders and his family bought the estate and brought it back to a period of significant prosperity and renown. Decades later, the Sanders family sold Haut-Bailly to American financier Robert G. Wilmers, who purchased the property to solve the problem of a fractured Sanders family ownership. The Wilmers era initiated new improvements as well as modernized geological attention to the soil, all bringing about another period of glory.
Château Haut-Bailly produces three distinct wines: Haut-Bailly, which, despite its high Cabernet Sauvignon presence, combines the best of elegance with structure; La Parde de Haut-Bailly, its second wine known for its silkiness and forward aromas; and Pessac-Léognan, its third, generic wine. With its long history in the region, Château Haut-Bailly has done an impressive job of staying loyal to its traditions while maintaining an enviable relevance in the fine wine arena.