2015

Two Centuries of
Architecture in Tribute to
a Great Wine

Château Margaux’s history and renown stem equally from the intrinsic genius of the place as from the contrbutions made by the various people who have served it for five centuries. But there has probably not been an owner who has played such a decisive role, in such a short time, as André Mentzelopoulos, who purchased the Estate in 1977 and who would have been 100 years old today.
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Château Margaux’s history and renown stem equally from the intrinsic genius of the place as from the contributions made by the various people who have served it for five centuries. But there has probably not been an owner who has played such a decisive role, in such a short time, as André Mentzelopoulos, who purchased the Estate in 1977 and who would have been 100 years old today.

It was the Marquis de la Colonilla who, 200 years ago, left his own mark on the Estate, in honour of the wine, through the construction of this great architectural heritage in a style inspired by ancient Greece; the architect Louis Combes had designed the Château’s peristyle paying homage to the Parthenon. André Mentzelopoulos was filled with pride and happiness at the sight of these Ionic columns that reminded him of his native Greece. More than 160 years later he had the foresight to take the radical measures necessary, in barely three years, to give back to Château Margaux, the lustre that it had lost during the long Bordeaux wine crisis.

Adding a modern building to this Historic Monument was certainly daring but Norman Foster knew how to respond to the technical and aesthetic challenges facing him at Château Margaux. The new buildings designed by Norman Foster, respond entirely to the architectural demands of the Estate’s history, whilst at the same time offering the means of pursuing its quest for excellence in the future thanks to the technological renewal. Thus, nowadays, Château Margaux has available, and will have for a long time, an architectural heritage and top of the range tools appropriate for the great reputation of its wine quality.

The film maker Bruno Aveillan has told, in pictures, the story of the meeting between the Marquis de la Colonilla and Louis Combes, then, 200 years later, the enormous task that was entrusted to Norman Foster; design the new cellars that would place Château Margaux firmly in the future, whilst at the same time, respecting the existing buildings. The film, « Prodigy of the Architect » was presented during the summer of 2015 on the occasion of the bicentenary of Château Margaux’s architecture.

Louis Combes and Norman Foster, two centuries apart, were both inspired by the genius of an age-old terroir, paying tribute to one of the world’s greatest wines.
SEE THE NEW BUILDINGS
WATCH THE MOVIE DIRECTED BY BRUNO AVEILLAN