- AD 350 - Latin poet Ausonius provides first recorded mention of wine
production in Bordeaux. Ch. Ausone was named after him in his honour.
- 1152 - 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.
- 1453 - end of Hundred Years War. Gascony reverts to French rule. Trade with
England continues, but links with the Low Countries forged.
- 1650 - Dutch engineers begin draining the marshy Médoc and vineyards are
planted in that region. Lafite, Latour, Margaux probably planted about
- 1703 - 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.
- 1855 - Classification of the Médoc, Sauternes and Barsac.
- 1860 - Anglo-French treaty reduces duty on French wine to two old pence a
bottle. Great prosperity in the region.
- Mid 1870s - arrival of phylloxera.
- 1918 to 1930 - post-war recession, closure of Russian market, prohibition
in USA. Many châteaux sold.
- 1936 - establishment of Appellation Contrôllée for Bordeaux.
- 1940 to 1944 - German occupation of Bordeaux.
- 1955 - Classification of St. Emilion.
- Mid 1950s - emergence of St. Emilion and Pomerol as important regions.
- 1959 - Re-classification of the red and white wines of the Graves, first
done in 1953.
- 1960s - re-emergence of important export markets. Reinvestment in vineyards
and châteaux begins.
- 1973 - the market crash and Cruse scandal. Many négociants only saved from
bankruptcy by foreign investment. The start of corporate purchasing of
- 1982 onwards - a legendary vintage coinciding with global affluence, the
emergence of en primeur, the beginning of a period of great
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