Petits Châteaux

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

petits châteaux, the French term meaning literally ‘small castles’ has a very specific meaning in the bordeaux wine region. These thousands of properties are modest in both their extent and in their reputation and price. A classed growth or equivalent is emphatically not a petit château, no matter how few hectares it encompasses, and nor is a cru bourgeois. The greatest concentration of petits châteaux, invariably family-owned and run, is in the bordeaux AOC and côtes de bordeaux appellations, although they are found throughout the region. Some of Bordeaux’s best wine value is to be found at the most conscientious petits châteaux.