Definition - What does Chateau mean?

A château is a large French country house or castle. Symbolizing a badge of a noble family, the word château generally refers to a residential home or a manor house of the lord, nobility or gentry. While many true château estates involve wine production, it has become customary for any wine-producing estate to attach the prefix château to its name. Consequently, the name of the château is often used as a part of the name of the wine.

WineFrog explains Chateau

Originally, a château housed royalty and nobility in France and French-speaking regions. The Romans introduced the vine to the Bordeaux region, around mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption. With moderate climate, and wine-growing soils, many estates concentrated around Bordeaux and Medoc adopted wine-production practices.

Even today, with 54 appellations, over 8,500 chateaux and wine-producers and a total vineyard area exceeding 700,000 hectares, Bordeaux remains the world’s major wine industry capital, with first-growths including Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Latour. By following proper quality assurance measures such as chateau bottling, chateau-prefixed wines radiate nobility in flavor and status.

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