Cheval Blanc produces the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world and is without a doubt the leading estate in St Emilion. Vines have been grown here since the 15th century but the most prestigious part of Cheval Blanc's history can be said to date from 1832, when Jean-Jacques Ducasse, President of the Libourne Trade Tribunal, purchased the core of the present-day estate. Over the next twenty years, the purchase of plots belonging to Château Figeac led to the creation of the 39 hectare vineyard as we know it today.
The marriage of Jean-Jacques' daughter, Henriette, with Jean Laussac-Fourcaud, a Libourne wine merchant, opened a new chapter in the history of Cheval Blanc that would define and consolidate the identity of this unique property. Her husband, aware of Cheval Blanc's outstanding potential and helped by an extraordinary intuition, replanted part of the estate in the 1860s with a totally atypical proportion of grape varieties: half Merlot (the king of the Right Bank) and half Cabernet Franc.
Formerly known as vin de Figeac, the wine was first sold under the name Cheval Blanc in 1852 and so began a prestigious career. By the 1880s Cheval Blanc was considered to be on a par with the first growths of the Médoc and in 1954 was one of only four estates that was given the highest possible distinction in the first classification of St Emilion: Premier Grand Cru Classé “A”.
In 1998 Bernard Arnault (owner of LVMH) and Baron Albert Frère purchased Cheval Blanc. They asked Pierre Lurton to manage the property for them. Cheval Blanc is turned resolutely towards the future. An impressive new cellar was completed In 2011 which is both futuristic and in keeping with the surrounding historic landscape listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today Pierre Lurton now manages their other estates, Chateau d’Yquem, Chateau La Tour du Pin and Quinault l’Enclos.
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