Latin poet Ausonius provides first recorded mention of wine production in Bordeaux. Ch. Ausone was named after him in his honour.
Henry Plantagenet (later Henry II of England) marries Eleanor of Aquitaine and acquires Gascony and most of western France. Trade with England establishes Bordeaux's pre-eminence.
End of Hundred Years War. Gascony reverts to French rule. Trade with England continues, but links with the Low Countries forged.
Dutch engineers begin draining the marshy Médoc and vineyards are planted in that region. Lafite, Latour, Margaux probably planted about 1690.
Methuen Treaty with Portugal. Duty on French wines not to be less than 50% more than levied on Portuguese wines. Smuggling rife.
Early 18th century - rise of the Bordeaux merchant class, supplying the rising middle classes of Britain and elsewhere in Europe. Many originate from Britain (including Ireland), Germany and the Low Countries.
Classification of the Médoc, Sauternes and Barsac.
Anglo-French treaty reduces duty on French wine to two old pence a bottle. Great prosperity in the region.
Arrival of phylloxera.
1918 to 1930
Post-war recession, closure of Russian market, prohibition in USA. Many châteaux sold.
Establishment of Appellation Contrôllée for Bordeaux.
1940 to 1944
German occupation of Bordeaux.
Classification of St. Emilion.
Emergence of St. Emilion and Pomerol as important regions.
Re-classification of the red and white wines of the Graves, first done in 1953.
Re-emergence of important export markets. Reinvestment in vineyards and châteaux begins
the market crash and Cruse scandal. Many négociants only saved from bankruptcy by foreign investment. The start of corporate purchasing of châteaux.
a legendary vintage coinciding with global affluence, the emergence of en primeur, the beginning of a period of great prosperity.