Château Beychevelle has one of the richest histories in the Médoc and its roots can be traced back to the 14th Century when a feudal castle belonging to the Foix family occupied the site. The property passed to the husband of Marguerite de Foix-Candale, the Duc d’Epernon in 1587.
The Duc was heavily involved in politics and was even in a coach next to Henri III when he was assassinated. He also became an Admiral of France which indirectly led to the name Beychevelle being used for the wine produced on the estate. Due to the Duc’s position, ships passing on the Gironde close to the estate were required to lower their sails as a salute, therefore, Beychevelle is a corruption of Baisse-Voile meaning lower sail.
The property eventually passed to the crown; however, it was under the ownership of the Marquis de Brassier that viticulture really began in the mid-1700s. The property was seized from the Marquis’ son during the Revolution and put up for sale and after a number of changes of ownership was purchased by Pierre-François Guestier in 1825. Château Beychevelle’s reputation began to flourish under the innovative and respected Pierre-François’, leading to Fifth Growth status in 1855 despite never being mentioned in any of the previous unofficial classifications of Bordeaux.
After the death of M. Guestier in 1874 the property was sold to Armand Heine and upon the death of his wife passed to his son-in-law M. Achille-Fould. The Achille-Fould’s were prominent in French politics during the early 20th Century, however, after a period of neglect, the estate was sold to the French pension fund, GMF in the 1980s who proceeded to sell 40% to a Japanese group. It was under this corporate ownership that much need investment was made in the estate and the wines of Beychevelle began to return to the glory years last seen in the 19th Century.
The Château at Beychevelle is one of the finest buildings in the Médoc, built during the 18th Century in the style of Louis XV, it commands stunning views of the vineyards and perfectly manicured flowerbeds. Beychevelle is situated in the south-east of St Julien near the village of Beychevelle and is known for powerful wines with extreme concentrations of blackcurrant and cassis.