Although the exact location of the first vines grown in Bordeaux is unknown, the vestiges of luxurious villas – the ancestors of today's wine châteaux – have been found in Saint-Emilion. One such villa belonged to Ausone (Ausonius in Latin), poet-winemaker and Roman Consul in the 4th century AD. The expansion of the Saint-Emilion vineyards continued through the centuries, especially during the Middle Ages. The creation and development of the port of Libourne in the 12th century, during the English occupation, led to thriving maritime trade that spread the reputation of Saint-Emilion wines throughout Europe. They were already considered of superlative quality at the time, with unusual ageing potential, and were often given as special gifts to royalty and other important people. Poetically referred to as "the hill with a thousand châteaux", Saint-Emilion has a colourful history. Skilled and enthusiastic winegrowers have long contributed to its stellar reputation.
A page was turned in autumn of 1998 when Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère, two old friends and lovers of great wine, joined forces to became the owners of this fabled château in Saint-Emilion. They injected a dynamic new spirit, while respecting the château's history and existing facilities. They also placed their complete trust in the winemaking team to continue their good work. The priority today is the ultimate in quality, which calls for enormous attention to detail and precision winemaking
Furthermore, Cheval Blanc is resolutely turned towards the future. This is epitomised by the impressive new cellar adjacent to the château. Designed by Christian de Portzamparc, winner of the 1994 Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1994, this was completed in June 2011. Reflecting the desire of Baron Albert Frère and Bernard Arnault, this building is both futuristic and in keeping with the surrounding historic vineyard landscape listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Winegrowers have succeeded one another at Cheval Blanc for six centuries in the context of a "wine civilisation" some 2,000 years old. The wine from this estate is now a joy to men and women all over the world who are aware that a great growth such as Cheval Blanc is a treasure of voluptuousness and pleasure.