Originally a highly reputed hunting pavilion during the reign of Louis XIV, the expansion of the vineyards was particularly influenced by the Coutanceau family, whose name was first adopted for the estate's wines during the classification of Bordeaux wines carried out by Guillaume Lawton in 1815.
The "Bellegrave" designation first appeared in 1845, when Bruno Devès, a negociant in Bordeaux, remodelled the estate, favouring vine growing on the finest gravel terroirs. He built residences, tank rooms and wineries, and had the existing residence constructed on the site of the original hunting pavilion.
The wine was classified as a 5th growth in 1855, still bearing the name of Coutanceau, whilst the "Belgrave" name was only to be attributed at the beginning of the 20th century by Marcel Alibert, founder of the Syndicate of Crus Classés, and owner of the estate for almost 30 years.
The link between wine and hunting explains the ferret depicted on the packaging of the wine, and also the name "Diane de Belgrave" given to its second wine launched to mark the 1987 vintage.
Château Belgrave (Dourthe) pictures