The winery is located in the commune of Saint-Estèphe or the area of the same name in the Médoc (Bordeaux). It is separated from the famous Château Lafite-Rothschild only by a stream. A part of the vineyards was abandoned in 1789 and thus the Château Cos Labory was founded. Château Cos d'Estournel was founded in 1811, when the horse and wine merchant Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel (1753-1844) acquired the first vineyards. He had recognised the quality of the extremely poor gravel soils (Cos) at an early stage. The name "Cos" (Caux) is derived from "Colline de cailloux" (gravelly hill). Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel exported his wine to India and Arab countries. From there he imported noble horses, which were bred in the pastures around the vineyards. He built a huge wine cellar, partly in Asian style, including the pagoda-like curved roofs and the famous door from the harem of the Sultan of Zanzibar.