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Château La Mission Haut-Brion

The winery is located in the municipality of Talence in the Pessac-Léognan area in Graves (Bordeaux). Its origins date back to 1540, when the nobleman Louis de Roustain sold the Arrejedhuys vineyard to the wine merchant Arnaud de Lestonnac. Lestonnac was the husband of Marie, the sister of Jean de Pontac (1488-1589), the owner of the neighbouring Château Haut-Brion. The Lestonnac family owned the two Haut-Brion vineyards for a time and later also Château Margaux. The Château La Mission Haut-Brion remained in family ownership until 1664. In that year it was transferred by Catherine de Mullet to the Catholic Lazarist order "Mission Saint-Vincent-de-Paul". During this period of spiritual possession it received its present name. The president of the order, Père Simon, subsequently helped the estate to flourish.

As Governor of the Province of Guyenne, Marshal Richelieu (1696-1788) got to know and love the wines of La Mission. One day he tasted a particularly remarkable one. His servant explained to him that it was a Mission Haut-Brion. Thereupon the marshal is said to have exclaimed: "If God didn't want us to drink, why would he have made this wine so good?" In the wake of the French Revolution, the property was expropriated at the end of the 18th century and bought at auction by martial victor Vaillant in 1792. His descendants sold it in 1821 to Célestin Chiapella (1774-1867), a native of the USA. His son Jérôme had the vineyard fenced in and a magnificent wrought-iron portal built. The export to the USA was intensified. At the world exhibition in London in 1862 the wine was awarded a gold medal

In 1884, Jérôme Chiapella transferred the estate to the "Société Anonyme des Etablissements Duval" of Paris, which was then acquired by the wine merchant Ferdinand de Constans in 1895 and in 1903 became the property of the wine merchant Victor Coustau, who also owned the neighbouring Château La Tour-Haut-Brion. This sold then the Château La Mission Haut-Brion in 1919 to his friend Frédéric Otto Woltner (*1865). His sons Fernand and Henri contributed significantly to improvements. They used enamelled cement fermentation tanks for the first time in Bordeaux for better temperature control and improved the quality of the white wine. After the death of Victor Coustau, the Woltner brothers took over the winemaking out of friendship. In 1935 Marie Coustau left them the estate in gratitude. Henri Woltner ran it until his death in 1974

The heir Francis Dewavrin, husband of one of the Woltner daughters, then sold both wineries in 1983 to the American Dillon family, who under Domaine Clarence Dillon managed a number of other important wineries. CLMHB's vineyards cover 21 hectares, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Merlot (45%) and Cabernet Franc (7%). This extremely long-lasting red wine is aged for up to 24 months in 100% new barriques. The massive, deep dark wine differs strikingly from the "feminine" Château Haut-Brion and is in contrast to it considered "masculine". Outstanding vintages are 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and without interruption 1993 to 2000. In the Graves List the red wine is classified as "Cru Classé". The second wine produced since 1991 is called "La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion".

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