The estate has been occupied since at least the 12th century, with the site occupied by a fortified castle known as Lamothe or La Mothe (from motte, a small rise in the land), and wine under names such as "Margou" and "Margous" was known in the 15th century, but it was with the arrival of the Lestonnac family in the 16th century that wine production became of particular importance, and in the 1570s Pierre de Lestonnac expanded the property and cleared many of the grain fields to make way for vines.
In 1771, wine from the estate became the first claret to be sold at Christie's, and upon visiting Bordeaux in 1787, Thomas Jefferson made note of Château Margaux as one of the "four vineyards of first quality".
The domaine of Château Margaux extends 262 hectares (650 acres), of which 87 hectares (210 acres) are entitled to the Margaux AOC declaration. 80 hectares (200 acres) are planted with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, with 2% Cabernet Franc and Petit verdot. 12 hectares (30 acres) are cultivated with Sauvignon blanc to make the dry white Pavillon Blanc.
The average annual production of the Grand vin, Château Margaux, is 150,000 bottles, while the second wine Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux has an average production of 200,000 bottles. The dry white Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux has a production of around 35,000 bottles, and must be sold under the generic Bordeaux AOC as the cultivation of Sauvignon blanc does not fall under the directives of the Margaux AOC. The remainder of the production, what is determined to be "lesser grapes", is sold off in bulk.
97 Points – “The Wine Advocate”, Neal Martin (December 2016)
“The 1986 Chateau Margaux is one of the dark horses of the vintage. It has an exquisite bouquet that is now fully mature, with a mixture of red and black fruit, violets, pastilles and hints of cold stone. It blossoms in the glass, gaining intensity all the time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a more robust Margaux as you would expect given the vintage, clearly with firm backbone, more straight-laced than the 1985 or 1989. Yet there is wonderful delineation and focus here. If you seek strictness and classicism in a wine, then this is the place to come, plus there is superb mineralité and tension on the ferrous finish. Perhaps a little overlooked in recent years, the 1986 Margaux comes highly recommended for those who love the property. This is a wine finally coming of age. Tasted July 2016.”