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CHÂTEAU HAUT-BAILLY: THE FIRST CLARET IN SPACE? Chateau Haut-Bailly may become the first claret to be enjoyed in space after the estate puts its name to a wine bottle designed for use in zero-gravity.

The circular bottle was created by design student Octave de Gaulle as part of his Civilizing Space project, which is being exhibited at Bordeaux’s Museum of Decorative Arts and Design.

The bottle, which carries a specially made Haut-Bailly label, is one of a range of designs de Gaulle has created to “enable people to take a bit of their earthly culture into the skies”, the designer told Le Pan. The bottle is designed to be connected to a drinking utensil that resembles a conductor’s baton with a circular grip attached. Château Haut-Bailly came to be involved in the project as a result of being a patron of the museum.

Veronique Sanders, general manager of Haut-Bailly, said: “We had the honour and privilege to meet and host French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy at Château Haut-Bailly a few years ago. He is a brilliant, passionate space professional with whom it would be great to share a glass of Haut-Bailly while learning more about our universe.”

While the Grave estate may lay claim to being the first bottle created for space travel, it is not the first time wine has been considered as a space libation.

Sherry fails to launch

In the 1970s, following extensive research on ways to improve astronauts’ dining experience, Nasa’s Charles Bourland considered introducing cream Sherry as part of their space rations. Bourland shared his recipes and reminiscences in his book The Astronaut’s Cookbook.

Following consultation with professors at the University of California, Davis, Sherry was chosen because its natural stability would make it easier to be repackaged for space journeys.

Paul Masson California Rare Cream Sherry was chosen following a taste test of Sherries, and was ordered for the 70s Skylab mission.

However the Sherry received a lukewarm response from Nasa astronauts preparing for the mission. Indeed, it was reported that when the drink was tested prior to the Skylab mission on Nasa’s special low-gravity ‘Vomit Comet’ aeroplane, the smell made several astronauts nauseous.

Plans to take the Sherry into space were subsequently dropped.

Other drinks to have entered the space age include Scotch whisky. The drinks business reported last year how a vial of Ardbeg had returned to earth after three years in orbit.

The vial of un-matured malt whisky containing particles of charred oak was blasted up to the International Space Station in 2011 as part of an experiment to discover whether there were any differences in the ageing process between whiskies aged in space and those matured on earth.





Château Haut-Bailly 2009 receives 100/100 from Robert Parker!

“Many insiders in Bordeaux claim that the best private chef in all of Bordeaux is among the kitchen staff at Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Leognan.” Robert Parker started his article from November 7th 2014 by praising Haut-Bailly’s Private Table.


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Careful research in the archives of Château Haut-Bailly reveals the ancient origins of this estate. Already, in 1461, vines were cultivated on this land which at the time was known as « Pujau » (« small height » in Gascon) to emphasize the topography of its exceptional terroir. The foundations of the modern vineyard, however, came from the 1530s, under the leadership of the Goyanèche family and then the Daitze family. These wealthy Basque merchants began buying up prime plots of land. A ‘bourdieu’ (the old name for a wine château in Bordeaux) was soon created.

Following his death, Gaillard Daitze’s heirs took over and continued to manage the estate until it was sold in 1630 to Firmin Le Bailly and Nicolas de Leuvarde. Both men were bankers in Paris as well as great admirers of Graves wines. Recognising the potential of the land, they invested significant funds and built a manor house. Firmin even gave his name to the property. After his death in 1655, the estate was handed down from heir to heir for almost a century. In 1736, the running of the estate was assigned to Thomas Barton, of Irish origin, head of a major trading company specialising in fine wines. Benefiting from a huge amount of business relations in England and Ireland the wines of Château Haut-Bailly started to be greatly appreciated by the "New French claret" fans.


In the 18th century, Château Haut-Bailly was acquired and devotedly managed by two well-known local politicians: Christophe de Lafaurie, Baron de Monbadon and a member of the Bordeaux Parliament, and his son, Laurent, who was elected Mayor of Bordeaux in 1805. Soon after, he became a senator with responsibilities lying outside of Bordeaux and was therefore forced to sell Haut-Bailly in 1813.
In 1872, Alcide Bellot des Minières, following the Archbishop of Bordeaux’s advice, bought the property and built the château as it is known today. Alcide was a man of prodigious energy, who was fascinated by science and driven by new viticultural techniques. After making a fortune in the U.S.A. by opening up new transatlantic maritime routes, Alcide, an outstanding entrepreneur threw his heart and soul into wine. Thanks to his energy and enthusiasm along with rigorous application of precise scientific detail, Haut-Bailly reached the same price-levels as the first-growths: Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut-Brion, and continued to command such prices until the 1940s... His many scientific contributions made him a legend and earned him the nickname "King of Vintners.”


Following the death of Alcide Bellot des Minières, Haut-Bailly experienced a period of instability, with frequently changing ownership: Frantz Malvezin, a geographer by training, author of a number of books and editor of L'Oenophile in 1918, the Earl of Lahens and Paul Beaumartin in 1923, Georges Boutemy, originally from northern France whose career was in industrial textiles, in 1940. But the prestigious reputation of its wines had not changed and Haut-Bailly was therefore naturally made one of the "Cru Classé de Graves" in 1953.
In 1955, Château Haut-Bailly was bought by Daniel Sanders, a Belgian wine merchant from Barsac (Gironde). His arrival marked a crucial turning point for the property. Convinced of the estate's potential, he soon undertook significant works. The vineyard was recomposed and the winery and the house renovated. In 1979 his son Jean took over the management of the vineyard and continued to improve the quality and reputation of the wine by putting a focus on selection. His imprint and style have long marked the estate.

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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.


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.

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Handpicking is still de rigueur at Haut-Bailly and the greatest care is taken to select only the best grapes. These are subjected to the strictest sorting controls, first in the vineyard, next in the winery before being de-stemmed, and finally on a vibrating table following de-stemming.

Vinification takes place in a fermentation room containing 26 thermo-regulated cement tanks of different sizes (ranging from 30 to 120 hectolitres). These specially adapted vats ensure that grapes grown in different parts of the vineyard are kept separate from the time they are picked until the vinification is complete. The wine-making process takes place in cement tanks, whereas the blending is done in stainless steel tanks – a good example of how tradition and modernity go hand in hand at Haut-Bailly.

Alcoholic fermentation lasts eight to ten days and is followed by maceration. This process lasts about three weeks during which time the wine is never overheated – this is when we strive to achieve a perfectly balanced wine.


After the wine is drained from the tanks leaving behind the skins and pips, malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. The blending only takes place after a number of tastings, 3 to 4 months after the grapes are picked. Only the very best plots will be used for the first wine, “Château Haut-Bailly”. The young wine is stored in oak barrels and left to age in the cellars for sixteen months. Each year, a large number of barrels are replaced – the exact proportion varies according to the vintage. For instance, in 1987, Château Haut-Bailly aged in 33% of new oak barrels while it rose to 65% in 1990. More recently, 60% of new barrels were used in 2004, 63% in 2005 and 55% in 2008. Three cellars have been built to accommodate the ageing process.

For more than forty years, from 1956 to 1990, Professor Emile Peynaud was the consultant-oenologist at Haut-Bailly. In 1990, Professor Pascal Ribereau-Gayon took over. Professor Denis Dubourdieu joined in 1998 & brought his expertise to Haut-Bailly. Under his guidance a research study was carried out to establish balance between terroir, grape variety and graft stock for each plot of land. In 2004, Jean Delmas also became a member of our consulting team.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

5m 24d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.

 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.

 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

5m 27d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

5m 29d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

5m 29d ago

 Stuart George, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  20 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Véronique Sanders presented 14 vintages of Château Haut-Bailly at the Institute of Directors in London. Linden and Aiko Wilkie of the Fine Wine Experience organized the tasting. The vintages from 2005 to 1985 were from the château, but the others had been sourced by Linden at auction over the previous three years.

The 2006, 2003, 2002, 1999, and 1996 vintages were tasted at Château Haut-Bailly with Véronique Sanders and Gabriel Vialard.

6m 7h ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  30 wines 

My TOP 30 wines of the Bordeaux 2016 vintage.

6m 1d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  64 wines 

98 wines tasted from Pomerol 2016 vintage, a stunning vintage for the appelation. Petrus might be the wine of the vintage, such finesse! But many others as well. Le Pin, La Conseillante, Clinet, Gazin, Petit Village, Lafleur, L'Evangile, VCC, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy, L'Eglise-Clinet and many more made stunning wines. Gazin made the best wine they ever did, same with Nenin. Pomerols are beyond seductive in 2016.

6m 11d ago

 Björnstierne Antonson / sommelier, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  31 wines 

Bordeaux notes from vintages 1995 -2011 

7m 2d ago

 Fernando Pessoa, Pro (Spain)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  50 wines 

The Annual Union des Grands Crus Tasting in London - Bordeaux Vintage 2014 - My TOP 50.

11m 6d ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  23 wines 

“Magnum tasting with wines like Latour and Haut-Brion 1929, Margaux 1918 and 1953, Martha's Vineyard 1974, Sassicaia 1985 etc.”

1y 1m ago

 Rajiv Kehr, Pro (India)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  14 wines 

“Bordeaux 1986 Left Bank-tasting: The next flight was no less interesting but a touch more restrained. All the bottles in this flight were opened at 6:45 to be served at 9:15. We had 2 Pauillac and 2 from Pessac-Léognan. Chateau Lafite clearly showed its pedigree but needed to be decanted. It was still somewhat closed when it was served and the wine in my glass which I nursed till 11 PM started to show layers and complexity only towards the end. It's best to wait another 5 years before approaching it again. I have had mixed experience with Haut Brion. Either it exhibited a stunning floral nose of violet and Rose or it was intensely Brett which I don't particularly fancy. Luckily for me this bottle was floral and enjoyable. The Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande was on the other hand not as interesting when I opened the bottle compared to past experiences with other bottles of Pichon 86 in the past. It also took only started to show nuances and complexity towards the end. Maybe I should have decanted it. The Haut Bailly was surprisingly lean and unidimensional when I opened it but towards the end it had the most haunting nose in its flight leading me to believe that the others could have benefited with atlreast 2 hours more before service. ”

1y 2m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Haut-Bailly . In a tasting of  109 wines 

“Bordeaux 2015 Part II / Château Margaux 2015 / 100-points / Medium deep colour. Lovely cherry, cola, herb aromas. Silky smooth beautifully balanced wine with red currant, red cherry plum flavours with graphite, espresso, chinotto notes, fine loose knit lacy slightly graphite textures and roasted coffee mocha notes. Fruit expands towards the back palate with light graphite plume at the finish. One of the great wines of the vintage and an evocative salute to Ch Margaux’s great winemaker Paul Pontallier (22nd April 1956 – 27th March 2016). 98-100 points ”

1y 5m ago

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