OriginsUnwavering loyalty to its origins
The origin of the estate dates back to 1638. At that time, Léoville was the largest Médoc property, fragmented over time and generations. The legacy of the grand vin of Léoville Poyferré began in 1840 and went on to be consecrated as a Second Classified Growth fifteen years later. Didier Cuvelier has presided over the destiny of this gem since 1979.
1638A family tradition dedicated to wine
In 1638, Maître Jean de Moytié, ennobled Bordeaux bourgeois, councilor to the Bordeaux parliament, owned a vineyard planted atop a gravel ridge called Mont-Moytié. It was among the first historic estates of the Medoc established before the Fronde (civil wars in France between 1648 and 1653) along with Chateau Margaux, Chateau La Fitte, and Château de Calon…
1740The largest vineyard in the Médoc
In 1740, Alexandre de Gascq-Léoville – the new owner – wanted his vineyard, now called Léoville, to be among the best of the Médoc. The estate was completely revamped both in the vineyard and in the cellars. Upon his death, Léoville became the largest vineyard in the Médoc, covering 120 hectares.
1776The legacy of Alexandre de Gascq-Léoville
The heirs of Alexandre de Gascq-Léoville kept the estate intact. By 1775, the wines of Léoville were sold under four different names: Abadie, Lacaze, Chevalier, and Monbalon. A century later during the viticultural slump, Hugh Barton acquired the Chevalier and Monbalon domains, thus establishing Château Léoville Barton in 1826. The rest of the Léoville vineyard (Abadie and Lacaze holdings), still in the hands of the Lascase descendants, accounted for three quarters of the original estate. In 1840, the Lacaze parcels became Château Léoville Lascases, which was inherited by Adolphe de Lascase. His sister, Jeanne, inherited the remaining Abadie parcels, which were transferred to her daughter, who was married to Baron Jean-Marie Poyferré de Cerès. Château Léoville Poyferré was born.
1804Creation of the wine merchant house in Haubourdin
In 1804, Henri Cuvelier founded a wine trading company in his hometown of Haubourdin in the north of France. The family business developed rapidly, driven by the revival of interest in Bordeaux wines in general and the Médoc Classified Growths in particular. The family expanded their operations during the 19th century with a dense commercial network stretching from Normandy to Flanders.
1855Consecration, followed by hardship
Following the honors of the 1855 classification, Baron Poyferré courageously fought a bout of powdery mildew that lasted until 1863. He finally resigned himself to selling Léoville Poyferré in 1865 to the Lalande and Erlanger families, wine brokers and bankers respectively.
1865The Lalande-Lawton Era
As of 1866, Armand Lalande presided over the destiny of the domain for the next twenty years. Armand Lalande was succeeded at the helm of Léoville Poyferré by his son-in-law, Edouard Lawton. The château’s label bears the “demi-wolf” of the Lawton family coat of arms. Hard times struck again: first powdery mildew, then phylloxera in 1879. To top it all off, mildew hit around 1885. Through it all, Léoville Poyferré passed these tests with head held high.
1903The purchase of Château Le Crock
In 1903, the Cuvelier family acquired Château Le Crock in Saint-Estèphe. The 32-hectare vineyard is located on the gravely Marbuzet plateau between the prestigious Châteaux Cos d’Estournel and Montrose. The meticulous work carried out on the soil and the vines allowed the wine to be quickly honored by the ranking of “Cru Bourgeois” in 1932. Supported by ample structure, the fine aromatics and powerful tannins of Château Le Crock become complex and distinctive over time.
1920The purchase of Châteaux Léoville Poyferré and Moulin Riche
In 1920, the Cuvelier family purchased Châteaux Léoville Poyferré and Moulin Riche from the Lawton family. Château Moulin Riche (c. 1885) was classified as a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel in 1932. These two new pearls of Saint-Julien would attract the greatest attention and become references for the appellation.
1947Wine merchants in Bordeaux
While Paul Cuvelier continued to run H. Cuvelier & Fils in Haubourdin, his brother, Max Cuvelier, founded a wine trading company in Bordeaux to be closer to the vineyards and thus facilitate procurement and distribution. Max’s sons have since taken over: Didier Cuvelier became Managing Director of Châteaux Léoville Poyferré, Moulin Riche and Le Crock in 1979. His brother, Olivier, has directed H. Cuvelier & Fils in Bordeaux since 1985.
1985Merger of H. Cuvelier & Fils in Haubourdin and Etablissements Fauvarque to create a new company, Cuvelier Fauvarque
Co-managed by Bertrand Cuvelier and Baudouin Fauvarque, the new wine trading company in Haubourdin was purchased by Mr. Lepoutre and Mr. Bigo in 2002. The name remains unchanged and the company continues to distribute wines from the Cuvelier estates.
1998Cuvelier Los Andes
Following in the footsteps of Paul Cuvelier, Bertrand Cuvelier embarked on a new wine challenge in 1998 and purchased land in Mendoza, Argentina at the foot of the Andes Mountains to establish a vineyard. His cousin, Jean-Guy Cuvelier, joined him and together they realized the Argentinian dream of their grandfather.
2006Anne Cuvelier, Bertrand’s eldest daughter, arrives in Bordeaux
Anne manages hospitality, wine tourism and public relations for Châteaux Léoville Poyferré. Her training in languages and international experience are an invaluable asset in developing the image of the chateau for clients and foreign visitors.
TodayA prestigious past that has built the present in order to serve the future
Thanks to its distinguished past, and through the efforts and investments of the last three decades, Château Léoville Poyferré has regained its level of excellence: – The 80-hectare vineyard has undergone an ambitious program of planting and restructuration (over 20 years). – The modern winemaking facilities illustrate the perfect balance between modernity and tradition, featuring the latest technological advances, while the barrel cellars respect the Médocain traditions. – Our dynamic winemaking team is always in search of improvement. – Our hospitality and wine tours team is ready to welcome visitors from around the world.