• Cellar wall with fossils
  • Vineyard of Château Haut-Bailly
  • Very old vine of Château Haut-Bailly

A unique terroir

Château Haut-Bailly has a unique terroir and it is this which gives its wine such remarkable character and elegance. Terroir encompasses topography – where a vineyard is situated – but also climate – sun, heat, rain, wind, humidity – and the soil in which the vines are grown.
Just a stone’s throw away from the city of Bordeaux, Château Haut-Bailly, one of the most prestigious Cru Classé de Graves, sits majestically in a 30 hectare (74 acres) vineyard at the heart of the Graves region on the left bank of the river Garonne.
If great wine results from a harmonious relationship between man, the vine, and nature, the most subtle of these three elements is the soil. Positioned on a high ridge of land excellent for drainage, the soil is sandy and mixed with gravel, sitting on a layer of sandstone petrified with the remains of prehistoric fossil shells. All this contributes to the special character in Haut-Bailly wines.

A respect for environment

The vineyard is managed according to strict tradition and chemical weed killers are never used. Spraying is carefully limited, the soil is ploughed and weeded with hoes, and the grapes are picked entirely by hand.
In order to grow and harvest grapes of impeccable quality, the volume of production is intentionally limited. Nothing is considered too much for the ‘first wine’ – be it vigorous pruning, crop thinning when necessary, a harvest entirely picked by hand, bleeding ("saignée"), and the strictest selection controls.

A unique combination of old vines

Alcide Bellot des Minières, the owner of Château Haut-Bailly at the end of the nineteenth century, was against grafting his delicate French vines onto phylloxera-resistant American rootstocks – something that was being done in the majority of other Bordeaux vineyards. Although some American graft stock was eventually planted, Haut-Bailly still has 4 hectares of its old vines which are over a hundred years old – a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
The remainder of the estate is planted with:
60% Cabernet Sauvignon
34% Merlot
3% Cabernet Franc
3% Petit Verdot